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The Sacrament of Remembrance: Southern Agrarian Poet Donald Davidson and His Past

The Sacrament of Remembrance: Southern Agrarian Poet Donald Davidson and His Past The Sacrament of Remembrance: Southern Agrarian Poet Donald Davidson and His Past Paul V. Murphy For us, the long remembering Ofall our hearts have better known. -- Donald Davidson, in his 1934 poem, "Southward Returning" Donald Davidson, a southern poet and leader of the Southern Agrarians, a group of antimodernists who opposed industrial capitalism, conceived of social memory as a "folk-chain," which binds a people together. The folk-chain transmits tradition, which, Davidson declared, tells southerners "who we are, where we are, where we belong, what we live by, what we live for."1 Moreover, one person teaching another extends the folk-chain: "What passes from memory to memory, without benefit of the historian's record, is as old in time as the memories that it expresses, and if it is accepted it endures as long as the land and people that accept it."2 In a sense, Southern Agrarianism is fundamentally about social memory. Certainly, the power of the 1930 book, I'll Take My Stand, to which Davidson contributed and which remains a ringing indictment of industrial capitalism and a defense of southern tradition, rests in its manipulation of social memory. As Robert Penn Warren, a young graduate student at Oxford at http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

The Sacrament of Remembrance: Southern Agrarian Poet Donald Davidson and His Past

Southern Cultures , Volume 2 (1) – Jan 4, 1995

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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

The Sacrament of Remembrance: Southern Agrarian Poet Donald Davidson and His Past Paul V. Murphy For us, the long remembering Ofall our hearts have better known. -- Donald Davidson, in his 1934 poem, "Southward Returning" Donald Davidson, a southern poet and leader of the Southern Agrarians, a group of antimodernists who opposed industrial capitalism, conceived of social memory as a "folk-chain," which binds a people together. The folk-chain transmits tradition, which, Davidson declared, tells southerners "who we are, where we are, where we belong, what we live by, what we live for."1 Moreover, one person teaching another extends the folk-chain: "What passes from memory to memory, without benefit of the historian's record, is as old in time as the memories that it expresses, and if it is accepted it endures as long as the land and people that accept it."2 In a sense, Southern Agrarianism is fundamentally about social memory. Certainly, the power of the 1930 book, I'll Take My Stand, to which Davidson contributed and which remains a ringing indictment of industrial capitalism and a defense of southern tradition, rests in its manipulation of social memory. As Robert Penn Warren, a young graduate student at Oxford at

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 4, 1995

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