By Richard H. King
A learn of a tremendous cultural circulate, this article indicates how Southern writers of 1930 to 1955 attempted to return to phrases with Southern culture. It discusses the ensuing physique of vital literature - fiction, poetry, memoirs and ancient writing.
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Extra info for A Southern Renaissance: The Cultural Awakening of the American South, 1930-1955
2This in turn raises the question which has haunted the modern world and has remained central to the culture of modernism: what does it mean to live without a tradition? Insofar as Southern writers and intellectuals were concerned with this question, they expressed a central concern of the modernist movement. The answers to the question are various, some of which this century has seen embodied in ghastly forms. Here Hannah Arendt's work sheds light, for the loss of "the thread which safely guided us through the vast realms of the past" renders memory helpless.
With his belief in the persuasive power of facts and objective research, he tended to see all conflicts as misunderstandings. He "abhorred conflict and confrontation"8 and was always surprised that he was considered a radical. His genuine but rather paternalistic faith that the "people" would respond to wise leadership gradually lessened; and by the late 19205 he had to admit that Social Forces would have to be a journal for specialists, not for a general audience. Still his faith that science could offer solutions to social problems and bring order and harmony to chaos and conflict remained fundamentally intact.
And no matter how far removed they were from the ideological violence of contemporary European fascism, the fictional fantasies of Faulkner's Gail Hightower in Light in August or the lacerating self-destructiveness of Bayard Sartoris in Flags in the Dust and the sophisticated poetry of Tate or Donald Davidson in his "Lee in the Mountains," all testified to the barely submerged violence that threatened to surface in the Southern tradition at its time of dissolution. Certainly Arendt's description of reality become "fantastic" A SOUTHERN RENAISSANCE 17 could stand as a general characteristic for much of the literature of Renaissance, a sort of modernist gothic style.