Tag

Southern Literature

The Wild Man

At the top of the hill where my great-grandparents lived, there was a dusty, black and white picture on a shelf. It could’ve been my grandpa or great-uncle, but it…

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Who’s Your People?

“Who’s your people?” Though now somewhat rare, one still hears that question in Dixie, usually uttered from the lips of older or rural Southerners. Much is implied by the question….

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Time

“How time changes everything.” This quote came from the lips of a fairly surprised man of around 80, my dear great-uncle Carl Ray, as we descended into the valley of…

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Daybreak in Dixie

Daybreak in Dixie:  Poems of the Confederacy by Linda Lee. Privately published, 2019. For those of us who value the history of our Southern people, these are the worst of…

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I Listen

I read this piece to the Jackson Writers Guild a year ago. Since then, we’ve not been able to meet. Here it is again. A southern writer can collect more…

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The Lord Gives

It was a late night in Boone County, Arkansas when me and my newly married wife attended a party not far from our home in Lead Hill. The ol’ boy…

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Fast Money

On a late November evening in 1970, I rolled into the “Big Easy” on an L&N freight with my pockets jingling. Hitching a ride to Canal Street – and letting…

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Hillbilly Thomists

What would you give in exchange for your soul? Bluegrass greats Bill Monroe and Doc Watson asked that question in one of their most memorable live recordings. It’s also the…

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The Wind

I find myself sitting on the bank of a lake, not far from where I grew up. Being in an extremely rural and poor area of Arkansas, we hang on…

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Virginia and Alabama

Lexington, Virginia January 2002 Driving up, then down the mountain hairpins into Lexington,By daylight, moonlight, headlight (only one),I smell the moist ancient earth rising up to greet meThis January evening…

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Hillfolk History

All-too-often, seemingly buried in the myriad dates and statistics of history, lies the human experience that should do more to make up that history in the first place. These eyewitness…

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Old Hope

      When the sick brain with crazy skill                Weaves fantasies of woe and ill. Returning nostalgically for a moment to the presidential debacle—excuse me, “campaign”—of 2003-4, let us recall…

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Southern Poets and Poems, Part V

A series by Clyde Wilson Homage to Revolutionary Heroes DOLLEY PAYNE MADISON (1768—1849) was the wife of President James Madison.                              Lafayette Born, nurtured, wedded, prized, within the pale Of…

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The Cyber Rebel

William Gibson surprises people when they meet him. The writer who coined the terms “cyberspace” and “megacorp,” whose dystopian novels re-invented science fiction in the 80s, and was lauded in…

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Christmas

How grace this hallowed day? Shall happy bells, from yonder ancient spire, Send their glad greetings to each Christmas fire Round which the children play? Alas! for many a moon,…

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Something of Value

An excerpt from North Carolina author Robert Ruark’s best known novel reads: “If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he…

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Loosiana Poets

A review of Louisiana Poets: A Literary Guide, (U. Press of Mississippi, 2019) by Catharine Savage Brosman and Olivia McNeely Pass. The poet and the scholar are reportedly different sorts…

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Ode to the Confederate Dead

Row after row with strict impunityThe headstones yield their names to the element,The wind whirrs without recollection;In the riven troughs the splayed leavesPile up, of nature the casual sacramentTo the…

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The Long Ago

Oh! a wonderful stream is the river of Time, As it runs through the realm of tears, With a faultless rhythm, and musical rhyme, And a broader sweep, and a…

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Poe of Virginia

The opinion has been often stated that Edgar Allan Poe was bizarre and amoral; that he was a lover of morbid beauty only; that he was unrelated to worldly circumstances-aloof…

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First Kiss

Back in 1958, when I was fifteen years old, I made the most critical and important decision in my youthful life. I made the choice any all-American fifteen-year-old farm boy…

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Mule Breeding

“Why don’t you get a tractor? You could get more done.” “Don’t need more done.” “But you could get it done faster.” “Faster than what?” “Faster than that mule goes.”…

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I Heard A Voice

They were standing at the ledge. Their view mirrored a panorama of buildings and smoke stacks. Great edifices, heaving asymmetrically, skewed with monster cylinders venting plumes of expended energy. The…

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Streety

There was a little dog down the street from us named Streety. My brother and I hadn’t got our own dog yet; that was five or six months in the…

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Tom’s Comedy Club

There was a social order at Tom’s Service Station.  It wasn’t posted on the wall.  The “Welcome Wagon” didn’t slip it into the baskets they gave to the newcomers.  It…

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Souls of Lions

A review of R. E. Mitchell. Souls of Lions (Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse LLC, 2014). Very seldom do I review novels, even historical ones. But R. E. Mitchell’s volume, Souls of…

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Look Away

A bit of free verse to address our current situation, which is probably not as good as I think it is.  It marshals various lines from Donald Davidson’s poems.  As…

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Rich Hours

Presented at the 2017 Abbeville Institute Summer School. False River —For Olivia Pass, and for Patric It’s wide, impressive, but it’s false—really an oxbow lake, formed when the Mississippi, on…

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A Poetry Sampler

Editor’s note: Three recent poetry submissions, the first two by Walt Garlington, the third by Stephen Borthwick. The Patriarch’s Clan The patriarch’s clan By the lake is gathered To honor…

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Home

Mary Fahl sang the beautiful song, “Going Home,” for the movie Gods and Generals. Such lyrics and tune that reached into my Southern psyche as to remind me of what…

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A Bow to the Ladies

A review of Understanding Mary Lee Settle, by George Garrett, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. 1988, 187 pages. One useful way to distinguish between types of novelists is to…

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Death of Kin

“Family’s getting scarce,” Cousin Jeanette says As Uncle Wallace, her daddy, lies In hospital bed in Union Lashed with tubes that keep him fed. Wallace has outlived all siblings save…

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The Inside War

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published at The Southern Literary Review and is an interview with author Robert J. Ernst by Allen Mendenhall covering Ernst’s book, The Inside War….

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Go Set a Watchman

Harper Lee betrayed the literary establishment and many of her readers with the recent publication of her novel, Go Set a Watchman.  The novel was originally written before the acclaimed,…

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Podcast Episode 7

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, December 28, 2015-January 1, 2016. Topics: Southern literature, the year in review, John C. Calhoun, slavery, the Confederate Flag, Southern film, California.

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So Red the Rose

You might not find Stark Young’s So Red The Rose in current recommendations of novels set during the civil war era, but Young’s novel, published in 1934, was a record-breaking…

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The Immortals

THE IMMORTALS: A STORY OF LOVE AND WAR In 1861, as a deadly conflict looms between North and South, Charleston sits like a queen upon the waters—beautiful, proud and prosperous—and…

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Pride

Variation on a theme by Chekhov “Oh, Eldridge. Well. Ain’t seen you in a week. I thought they must have re-routed you or something, boy.” Eldridge Sartor had spotted Mr….

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Crow Boy

This story is for Ben Greer, fellow upcountryman. The South Carolina Upcountry, 1955 He hears them talking through the swinging door. Now what are you crying for? He’s the same….

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The Despot’s Song!

Southern history contains many fine examples of literary and artistic merit long ignored by contemporary scholars and forgotten by the American public at large, both North and South. Much of…

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Cell Phone Towers

Cold metal arms, skeletal, sepulchral, Reaching upwards, grasping. Devil’s towers topped with devil’s claws, Tearing the creation – earth and sky, Wind and water, what is seen, what is not….

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Lanterns on the Levee

The books found on library shelves began changing some time ago. The intellectual interests of most Americans began to diminish, and those Americans who do have intellectual interests, normally use…

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Second Sight

Revival week at Covenant Baptist Church in Compton, South Carolina, was a time of great festivity. Some claimed it rivaled, in spectacle and variety, the state fair in Columbia. Indeed…

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Rose of Dixie

Few American authors wrote as many stories set in the old South as William Sydney Porter, who used the pen name, “O.Henry.” There are differing versions of how and why…

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Starry-Eyed Varlet

Tito Perdue is a self-described “problematic author” and “cultural reactionary.” His novels are bitter and amusing accounts of a Western civilization that seems hell-bent on suicide. But that culture is…

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