Definitions

Agee

Agee

[uh-jee]
Agee, James, 1909-55, American writer, b. Knoxville, Tenn., grad. Harvard, 1932. He soon joined the literary and journalistic life of New York City, becoming (1932) a writer for Fortune magazine, a book reviewer and movie critic for Time (1939-48), and a film critic for The Nation (1942-48). During the 1950s he was a film scriptwriter, e.g., The African Queen (with John Huston, 1951) and The Night of the Hunter (1955), and also wrote for television. Agee's first major book is Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), a prose commentary on the life of tenant farmers in the South in the 1930s with accompanying photographs by Walker Evans. His second major book, and probably best-known work, is the autobiographical and posthumously published novel A Death in the Family (1957; Pulitzer Prize), which recounts in poetic prose the tragic impact of a man's death on his wife and family. Agee's other works include The Morning Watch (1954), a novella with strong autobiographical elements,; Agee on Film (2 vol., 1958-60), a collection of reviews, comments, and scripts; Letters of James Agee to Father Flye (1962), a collection of letters to a former teacher; Collected Poems (1968); and Collected Short Prose (1969).

See his collected works, ed. by M. Sragow (2 vol., 2005); M. A. Lofaro, ed., A Death in the Family: A Restoration of the Author's Text (2008); biographies by G. Moreau (1977) and L. Bergreen (1984); R. Spears and J. Cassidy, ed., Agee: His Life Remembered (1985); studies by P. H. Ohlin (1966), A. G. Barson (1972), V. A. Kramer (1975), M. A. Doty (1981), M. A. Lofaro (1992), J. Lowe (1994), A. Spiegel (1998), and H. Davis (2008).

(born Nov. 27, 1909, Knoxville, Tenn., U.S.—died May 16, 1955, New York, N.Y.) U.S. poet and novelist. Agee attended Harvard University. In the 1930s and '40s, film reviews for Time and The Nation made him a pioneer in serious film criticism. His lyrical Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), with photographs by Walker Evans, documents the daily lives of poverty-stricken Alabama sharecroppers. After 1948 Agee worked mainly as a screenwriter, notably on The African Queen (1951) and The Night of the Hunter (1955). He is best known for his autobiographical novel A Death in the Family (1957, Pulitzer Prize).

Learn more about Agee, James with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Nov. 27, 1909, Knoxville, Tenn., U.S.—died May 16, 1955, New York, N.Y.) U.S. poet and novelist. Agee attended Harvard University. In the 1930s and '40s, film reviews for Time and The Nation made him a pioneer in serious film criticism. His lyrical Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), with photographs by Walker Evans, documents the daily lives of poverty-stricken Alabama sharecroppers. After 1948 Agee worked mainly as a screenwriter, notably on The African Queen (1951) and The Night of the Hunter (1955). He is best known for his autobiographical novel A Death in the Family (1957, Pulitzer Prize).

Learn more about Agee, James with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Agee (a'-ge) is a Biblical figure who was the father of Shammah, who was one of David's mighty men (II Samuel 23:11). Based interpretations of I Chronicles 11:34 and II Samuel 23:32-33 Agee was either the grandfather of Jonathan or his brother.

  • Meaning: fugitive; a valley, deepness

References

  • "Agee", International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
  • "Agee", Hitchcock's Bible Names.

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