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the American South

Alabama Goes Industrial

Alabama is not like any of the other southern states. It has, however, until the immediate present, accepted its social and economic philosophy from its sister commonwealths in Dixie. Two facts combine to make Alabama the best place to view the march [...]

Beefsteak When I’m Hungry

Properly speaking, there is probably no such phenomenon as a mountain dialect. The language is one of interesting and significant survivals, and it is probably the most sparklingly fascinating segment of current American speech. For mountain speech h [...]

George Garrett’s South

As strange as it might seem, these issues and revelations are not particularly new or unrecognized in the literature of the American South, a regional genre of writing long conversant with the pressures and complexities of national and, increasingly, international discourses and economies. After all, with the notable exceptions of university presses and marvels such as Algonquin Books, it is to the large (inter)national presses and the still-dominant literary region of the Northeast that southern writers continue to turn, and often move into, in the hopes of garnering publication and reputation. This long-standing diasporic intellectual trend—lamented by writers as far apart in chronology and sensibility as William Gilmore Simms and Lee Smith—also manifests itself on the international level, as witnessed by Faulkner conferences in China and the odd phenomenon of Christine Chaufour-Verheyen’s work of criticism William Styron: Le 7e jour appearing in France as a mass-market paperback and outselling hosts of novels.


On Whitman, Civil War Memory, and My South

  O magnet-South! O glistening perfumed South! my South!O quick mettle, rich blood, impulse and love! good and evil! O all dear to me! — Walt Whitman   I. The New SouthA few years ago I was interviewed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitu [...]

The South In A Global World

James McBride Dabbs wrote, "Of all the Americans, the Southerner is the most at home in the world. Or at least in the South, which, because of its very at-homeness, he is apt to confuse with the world." One might see here a nascent globalism—Southern hospitality as humanism—while recognizing at the same time an insularity that was inward-looking rather than hospitable. The relation of the South and the world has changed: the South is now "transnational" or "global," we assert.

Lucas Beauchamp

He knew Lucas Beauchamp—as well as any white person knew him. Better than any maybe unless it was Carothers Edmonds on whose place Lucas lived seventeen miles from town, because he had eaten a meal in Lucas's house. It was in the early winter four years ago; he had been only twelve then, and it had happened this way: Edmonds was a friend of his uncle; they had been in school at the same time at the State University, where his uncle had gone after he came back from Harvard and Heidelberg to learn enough law to get himself chosen county attorney, and the day before Edmonds had come in to town to see his uncle on some county business and had stayed the night with them and at supper that evening Edmonds had said to him: