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Front Porch

Front Porch A distinguished southern historian we know tells the story of being asked to name the diree greatest southern novels. It was a high-brow cultural gathering and die glare from the leading literary lights was practically blinding. Everyone leaned forward to hear the wise man's answer. Who would make it to the winner's circle? Who in the audience would guess the same combination of Warren and Percy, Faulkner and O'Connor? Wouldn't die second-guessing be delicious at die ensuing reception? Tension mounted as the professor furrowed his brow. Finally the words came, and dumbfounded everybody. "The diree greatest southern novels," the historian pronounced, "are Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Clansman by Thomas Dixon, and Gone with the Wind by Mar- garet Mitchell." Recovering from shock, the literary lions let out a roar. Who invited this guy, anyway? How could he bring up such trash around serious people? That Stowe woman wasn't even southern, thank goodness. Can we now hear from somebody widi literary sensibilities? Please? above: Mammy and Scarlett in a scenefrom Gone with the Wind, the David O. Sel^nickfilm released in ¡9)9. From the Museum ofModern Art Film Stills Archive. The historically minded professor had not http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
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Abstract

A distinguished southern historian we know tells the story of being asked to name the diree greatest southern novels. It was a high-brow cultural gathering and die glare from the leading literary lights was practically blinding. Everyone leaned forward to hear the wise man's answer. Who would make it to the winner's circle? Who in the audience would guess the same combination of Warren and Percy, Faulkner and O'Connor? Wouldn't die second-guessing be delicious at die ensuing reception? Tension mounted as the professor furrowed his brow. Finally the words came, and dumbfounded everybody. "The diree greatest southern novels," the historian pronounced, "are Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Clansman by Thomas Dixon, and Gone with the Wind by Mar- garet Mitchell." Recovering from shock, the literary lions let out a roar. Who invited this guy, anyway? How could he bring up such trash around serious people? That Stowe woman wasn't even southern, thank goodness. Can we now hear from somebody widi literary sensibilities? Please? above: Mammy and Scarlett in a scenefrom Gone with the Wind, the David O. Sel^nickfilm released in ¡9)9. From the Museum ofModern Art Film Stills Archive. The historically minded professor had not

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 4, 1999

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