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Grave Matters

Grave Matters Authors Zora Neale Hurston and William Faulkner were as different stylistically as any two southern writers. The elegant and lyricalprose ofHurston and the sometimes affected, sometimes convoluted writings ofFaulkner could never haveflowedfrom the same ink or have beenproducts ofa common keystroke. Yet the different means by which both Faulkner and Hurston achieved their artistic successes testify to the strength ofthe diversity in southern experience and perspective. So, too, do their mostpersonal letters, which is why we havepaired these two authors, extraordinary in their dissimilarity, together in this issue's . The tone and content of William Faulkner's note to Mary Frances Wiley, hisgoodfriend's wife, reflect a much different account ofthe South, a much different set ofconcerns,from Zora Neale Hurston's correspondence with W. E. B. Du Bois. Faulkner, revealed here in his mannered, practicedglory, discusses a bit ofstrategic ambiguity in Go Down, Moses (and in theprocess removes some ofthat ambiguity), while also rather cheerily finding the space in his short letter toflirt. Hurston's letter to Du Bois, on the other hand, is solemn and direct and demonstrates little ofthe luxury offrivolity. Elizabeth Robeson and Noel Polk guide us through these twopieces ofthe authors' moreprivate correspondence. We begin with Hurston's dignified 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

Authors Zora Neale Hurston and William Faulkner were as different stylistically as any two southern writers. The elegant and lyricalprose ofHurston and the sometimes affected, sometimes convoluted writings ofFaulkner could never haveflowedfrom the same ink or have beenproducts ofa common keystroke. Yet the different means by which both Faulkner and Hurston achieved their artistic successes testify to the strength ofthe diversity in southern experience and perspective. So, too, do their mostpersonal letters, which is why we havepaired these two authors, extraordinary in their dissimilarity, together in this issue's . The tone and content of William Faulkner's note to Mary Frances Wiley, hisgoodfriend's wife, reflect a much different account ofthe South, a much different set ofconcerns,from Zora Neale Hurston's correspondence with W. E. B. Du Bois. Faulkner, revealed here in his mannered, practicedglory, discusses a bit ofstrategic ambiguity in Go Down, Moses (and in theprocess removes some ofthat ambiguity), while also rather cheerily finding the space in his short letter toflirt. Hurston's letter to Du Bois, on the other hand, is solemn and direct and demonstrates little ofthe luxury offrivolity. Elizabeth Robeson and Noel Polk guide us through these twopieces ofthe authors' moreprivate correspondence. We begin with Hurston's dignified

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 4, 1999

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