Eh, I just don't wanna risk it.
"Mat, how about doing a story on how much the Gaillard is costing taxpayers before giving anything else away for free?"
Sigh. Because that is literally not my job, but since you asked....
It's my understanding (and I could be wrong about this) that the "music and arts" side of the Gailliard operation exists in its own little non-profit world. AFAIK, taxpayers are paying roughly nothing for that side of it and it's supported entirely by donations and ticket sales.
If you remember, the building itself was originally supposed to be one-half funded by private donations. I vaguely recall noticing at one point those donations weren't coming through as expected, but I have no idea what the end ratio was. Probably pretty close to 50-50, outside of the overruns and the looming court battles into what is apparently a morass of bad management decisions and/or bad planning somewhere in the process. We should hope that Charleston hasn't built its own little "Eagle Stadium".
If you don't recall, that's the $60 million football stadium in Texas, built for a high-school (!) team, that was open for only a year before it was deemed unsafe for occupancy due to all sorts of shoddy building shortcuts being taken.
So, there's that. Like I said, I could be wrong. I mean, shit, if you're a citizen of the City, you should feel free to call them and ask them how much of your money goes into the arts side of the operation.
Also, this is not "my" paper - oh, lord but if it were....
And how do you tax people on their Medicaid?
Mat, how about doing a story on how much the Gaillard is costing taxpayers before giving anything else away for free? Once again a municipality builds a cathedral to music and arts which no one wants or will pay for. The ads for shows no one wanted to attend were splashed all over your paper and the P&C when they opened. Not cheap I would assume, but when you are spending someone else's money the sky's the limit. I'm willing to bet not one of those loser shows made a dollar. Let's just admit this is another example of ChuckTown's leaders buying something that is in no way built for the residents but rather the yearly visitors to Spoleto. The only thing these decisions affect locally is an additional point or two on every purchase we make by way of "it's only a penny or two" local sales tax options that we residents pay with every purchase. Tax the blue hairs on their Medicaid to pay for outdated, wasteful, music that no one under 60 gives a shit about.
And given that they aren't paying right now, you'll still technically be unpublished at the end of the day.
There is also a pretty cool comic show that the City is helping to sponsor, Taking Flight Comic Book Show 14! We have very special guest artists Tom Lyle and John Hairston coming in just for the show!
Wouldn't it be great if there were enough showings so that all interested could have the opportunity to attend?!
"Phantom of the Opera! Now rennovating a theatre near you!" Have fun with that chandelier, boyz
Chris is just condescending, period. God knows I've read enough of his pieces to get that You apparently also work at this rag. Sorry if Ive hurt your particular Sounthern sensibilities.
I fully understand the myriad sub-regional Southern differences kiddo. Don't need a lecture from you. I'm 63 remember?
PS I'm no longer a Coloradian, having lived most of my adult life in the Deep South. What the hell is yr point again about Lee Smith being truly Appalachian then?! ! Get my point? Why not ask her what her identity now is darling? Can't we be both this and that? Born in Colorado (myself) but identify as Southern? etc? Or is that too nuanced and complicated for you to wrap your head around?
Chris is "from off" which explains his condescension towards "southerners" and that goes for the entire "snobby staff" who are "permanent tourists" but you're not from here either?
And Lee Smith (born in what I can assure you from experience is a deeply, deeply, deeply Appalachian town) is no longer Appalachian because she lives in or near Chapel Hill?
Because, if that were the case, then Chris (and myself, I suppose) would no longer be "upstate" or "Appalachian", since we live here - we're Southern, right?
And of course, none of this accounts for the myriad of Southern cultures that go into making the "Southern" culture. Coastal Virginia was very different from Coastal South Carolina long ago, and still is. New Orleans and South Florida are different from each other and the rest of the South.
Even in Deep South, there's a lot of regional variety of people. There's no Southern monoculture, no matter how badly a lot of these shitty magazines want to sell you one.
Chris, you're still from "off". I was from "off" (Houston by way of Germany and other places). I like you better now though that you've said you're from the upstate. lol
You probably didn't like Humphreys 'cause you're a guy. She can write though. If you like the surreal read Donald Bartleme's short stories. He's been dead for years now but NO ONE has yet surpassed him. Davis (see below) comes close imo.
I learned how to write reading Fielding in depth, slowly. I was about 21.
Last I saw Lee she was living in Chapel Hill which is hardly Appalachia. Don't know where she is now. Beautiful woman also.
PS Last fiction I read was Mary Louise Parker (the actress). OMG, can she write. As she grew up partially in NC maybe we can claim her. lol Also a big fan of Lydia Davis, a New Englander I think.
(Although I think Jillian Weise teaches there. Talk to her. She's beyond smart and cool.)
"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.
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)
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.
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.
Ron Rash and Lee Smith are Appalachian writers, not Southern.
... 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...
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.
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
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.
"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.
Congratulations! You couldn't be more deserving!
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