With the publication of The Eye of the Story and The Collected Stories, Eudora Welty achieved the recognition she has long deserved as an important American fiction writer. Her position was confirmed in 1984 when her autobiographical One Writer's Beginnings made the best-seller lists with sales over one hundred thousand copies. During the early decades of her career, she was respected by fellow writers but often dismissed by critics as an oversensitive "feminine" writer. The late 1970s and 1980s, however, saw a critical reevaluation (the act of examining the same thing over again) of her work.
Per Seyersted devotes five pages to a discussion of “Regret,” comparing its content and its form to a short story by Guy de Maupassant. And he emphasizes Kate Chopin’s ties to France and Ireland. “Her writing demonstrated an instinctive artistic sense which made use of the best of the Celtic and Gallic traditions. She had learned to apply her in inborn French simplicity and clarity, logic and precision, and the Gallic sense of form, economy of means, and restraint, together with the pathos and humor, the warmth and gaiety of the Irish.”
In the wake of Parrington’s attempt to reconcile the rise of realism and naturalism with an essentially romantic tradition ( Parrington 1930 ), interest in the rise of these movements has occurred in waves. In particular, efforts to provide large-scale summaries reflect the attention to social problems in 1960s, and the influence of—and reaction to—post-structuralism and cultural criticism in the 1980s. In all cases, however, comprehensive hypotheses about the nature of realism and naturalism remain grounded, to a large extent, in the political, economic, and cultural history of the late 19th century. Berthoff 1965 , Pizer 1984 , and Lehan 2005 represent attempts to accommodate the horizons established by Parrington’s definition of the study of literary form. Kaplan 1988 , Borus 1989 , and Bell 1993 each make valuable contributions to the new historicist reexamination of naturalism. Murphy 1987 offers one of the few comprehensive accounts of realism within dramatic literature.