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Comment Archives: Stories: Arts+Movies: Culture Shock

Re: “Remembering Pat Conroy, the King of Lowcountry Writers

(Although I think Jillian Weise teaches there. Talk to her. She's beyond smart and cool.)

0 of 4 people like this.
Posted by Pronghorn on March 8, 2016 at 7:49 AM

Re: “Remembering Pat Conroy, the King of Lowcountry Writers

"but it lacks the heft of truly memorable Southern novels, of which there are actually surprisingly few that weren't written by William Faulkner."

First things first: yes, Faulkner is the best. Without goddamned question. The easiest of go-tos.

O'Connor: "Nobody wants his mule and wagon stalled on the same track the Dixie Limited is roaring down."

So, back to your "surprisingly few" (I'll try to do mostly novels here, as that was your quote; but I am going to include some seminal story collections):

In no particular order.

Ladies first.

O'Connor: "A Good Man is Hard to Find"; "Everything that Rises Must Converge"; "Wise Blood"

Welty: all of her short fiction

McCullers: "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter"

Katherine Anne Porter

Now moving to the gentlemen.

Taylor: "A Summons to Memphis", and short fiction.

Hannah: all short fiction -- particularly "Airships". "Geronimo Rex" is a contender.

Walker Percy: "The Moviegoer"

Thomas Wolfe (admittedly fading)

Capote

Padgett Powell

Larry Brown (criminally underrated)

Richard Ford (major)

---

That's just off the top of my head. I'm certain I omitted much.

Now, if you're a careful and omnivorous reader, you'll learn not to just surrender to the Dixie Limited; then you'll recognize much more "truly memorable" stuff.

Methinks Clemson's English Department ain't too deep.

0 of 5 people like this.
Posted by Pronghorn on March 8, 2016 at 7:42 AM

Re: “Remembering Pat Conroy, the King of Lowcountry Writers

Josephine Humphreys. Yes, I read Rich in Love. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't call it art. It's a pleasant coming of age melodrama, but it lacks the heft of truly memorable Southern novels, of which there are actually surprisingly few that weren't written by William Faulkner.

Ron Rash. I not only know him, he was one of my teaching colleagues at Tricounty Tech. I have a work of his on my Kindle at the moment, at Paul Bowers' suggestion. I found his earlier work to be very Faulkner-lite mixed with Lake Woebegone charm. I hope his latter stuff changes my mind. (I also prefer his good friend George Singleton, but that's because George adopts a black-comedy point of view. I highly recommend. Speaking of that, I've only read Barry Hannah here and there, and I thought he was hilarious.)

Southern lit as we think of it began with Faulkner, and for years it has continued down that same path. Create a non-existent county, transform personal stories from your own life into fictional tales, set it in a Jim Crow South, bring up the South's hypocrisy, wax poetic, and package it all in a non-linear fashion.

I'm actually a huge fan of James Dickey's Deliverance. And I'd be more than willing to share with you my theory that the entire novel is in itself the story of three men who craft an elaborate story to cover up their friend's accidental death.

Although I'm not from Charleston, I'm from the Upstate. Go Tigers.

As for my own personal tastes in literature, I like novels and short stories that make me feel like I'm on drugs. I like unbridled creativity that is not confined by form or function. Oh ... and lots of dick jokes. Can't get enough of them. Tristram Shandy forever.

Speaking of Eng Lit, if there are English school children reading Tom Jones, I can rest easy tonight knowing that their minds are being corrupted.

4 of 6 people like this.
Posted by chrishaire on March 8, 2016 at 6:46 AM

Re: “Remembering Pat Conroy, the King of Lowcountry Writers

Ron Rash and Lee Smith are Appalachian writers, not Southern.

1 of 4 people like this.
Posted by mat catastrophe on March 7, 2016 at 5:25 PM

Re: “Remembering Pat Conroy, the King of Lowcountry Writers

... and I agree with your statement about people needing to read "real Southern lit"; all these local journalists penning obits don't have what it takes to comprehend "Absalom, Absalom!", for instance.

Need to have "Airships" shoved down their throats...

1 of 6 people like this.
Posted by Pronghorn on March 7, 2016 at 2:18 PM

Re: “Remembering Pat Conroy, the King of Lowcountry Writers

Are you talking Proust in translation? If so, I agree that the Moncrieff translation ("R.o.T.P.") can be purple in places. In the hands of Lydia Davis ("I.S.o.L.T.: 'Swann's Way'"), all that is stripped away.

2 of 6 people like this.
Posted by Pronghorn on March 7, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Re: “Remembering Pat Conroy, the King of Lowcountry Writers

Haire is typical of this site's "from off" snobby staff: Put down anything local you don't understand and always pretend it's not as good as what they remember in good ole Youngstown or "Sandusky or whatever. Oh, and "purple prose" can also be described as merely sententious. Even Proust was a bit purply and sententious. These permanent tourists, not residents, need to read real Southern lit before they spout off. I bet you anything Haire has no idea who Rash or Humphries are. lol

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Posted by RedheadinDixie on March 7, 2016 at 1:46 PM

Re: “Remembering Pat Conroy, the King of Lowcountry Writers

Rash and Gurganus are Lit titans; I agree with that. I don't know if their publishers would put a Conroy blurb on one of their works, but I might be wrong.

This is not a sleight on Conroy. They're all just -- different.

I agree with your assessment of the "Good Housekeeping" quote, though: it has an air of condescension.

What do I know, though? I've never read.

2 of 6 people like this.
Posted by Pronghorn on March 7, 2016 at 1:12 PM

Re: “Remembering Pat Conroy, the King of Lowcountry Writers

"Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for these beachiest of beach reads"

That's kinda condescending Chris. I would need to check but I BET he has written testimonials/forewords to the area's true literary artists like Ron Rash and Lee Smith (NC) and Allan Gurganus. Also Ashley Hall grad Josephine Humphries ("Rich in Love". great movie also). What they write is hardly "beachy".

Oh, and while I agree with you about the purple prose, it can be argued that Henry Fielding ("Tom Jones") wrote purple prose as well and he is still considered great though probably read still by mostly British schoolchildren.

2 of 3 people like this.
Posted by RedheadinDixie on March 7, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Re: “Mary Edna Fraser receives Verner Award

Congratulations! You couldn't be more deserving!

Posted by Tim Steele on March 3, 2016 at 1:27 PM

Re: “Painter Chambers Austelle sells art to benefit Redux's Young Artists program

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Posted by Frances Washington on February 25, 2016 at 4:51 PM

Re: “Charleston artist covers Paste Monthly

up to I looked at the receipt 4 $8315 , I be certain that...my... neighbours mother woz like they say realy bringing in money parttime on their computer. . there dads buddy haz done this less than 10 months and just cleared the loans on their apartment and got a gorgeous Citroën DS . see post

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Posted by Frances Washington on February 25, 2016 at 4:51 PM

Re: “Painter Chambers Austelle sells art to benefit Redux's Young Artists program

up to I looked at the receipt 4 $8315 , I be certain that...my... neighbours mother woz like they say realy bringing in money parttime on their computer. . there dads buddy haz done this less than 10 months and just cleared the loans on their apartment and got a gorgeous Citroën DS . see post

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Posted by Katie Marshall on February 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Re: “Charleston artist covers Paste Monthly

As the cut and PASTE king, i think i should get a cover spot as well. :)

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by artrogue on February 23, 2016 at 8:46 AM

Re: “Toruk: The First Flight flies into NPAC next Thursday

"....we were skeptical."

I still am.

Posted by mat catastrophe on February 19, 2016 at 9:52 AM

Re: “Sign up now for this Friday's Creative Mornings talk on Ethics

And the Catch-22 is that those folks that this would benefit most won't sign up. If they were concerned with ethics, they'd use 'em.

Posted by Ima Oldman on February 15, 2016 at 2:14 PM

Re: “Just in time for Valentine's: Play The Love Game

Games?

Are you playing love games with me?

Love games?

Do you love me?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYivGrFkgI…

Posted by mat catastrophe on February 12, 2016 at 9:08 AM

Re: “TEDx Charleston issues call for speakers

Actually, this satire of spammer speak is pretty much exactly what you'll get from a TEDx (or TED) talk anyway.

3 of 6 people like this.
Posted by mat catastrophe on January 19, 2016 at 9:58 PM

Re: “TEDx Charleston issues call for speakers

Will the If you some intelligent you makemany more Dollars thank GOD to you for this people all over City Paper be giving a talk there this year? They never tell alie you should check this. If they are giving a talk there in what appears to be some type of Yodaspeak language they all seem to of mastered then I will attend. My relatives also wondered to see how i settle my Life in a few days thank GOD to you for this.....

6 of 9 people like this.
Posted by CIACulinaryKid on January 19, 2016 at 9:36 PM

Re: “Jen Snyder's HMS Log Book tracks your daily life

...

0 of 1 people like this.
Posted by mat catastrophe on January 19, 2016 at 4:18 PM
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