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By Richard H. King

A learn of a huge cultural stream, this article indicates how Southern writers of 1930 to 1955 attempted to return to phrases with Southern culture. It discusses the ensuing physique of important 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

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His maternal grandfather was from the planter class; and from him Odum learned open bitterness toward the North. Not shame but vindictiveness was his guiding emotion. Through these two figures Odum came to identify with the South and its condition. During his life Odum was to exhibit both resentment over the South's defeat and a desire for the South to be vindicated in the eyes of the world. These emotions were united, however, in a vision of ultimate harmony and reconciliation within the South and between the South and the rest of the nation.

Its defenses of slavery diverted attention from the fact that slavery rested upon the master-slave relationship, upon plain exploitation, not benevolence or concern for the less fortunate. And the white South's uneasy balancing of democratic aspirations with aristocratic ethos produced contradictions of its own. The central "event" in the history of the South was the Civil War and Reconstruction. In defeat, in the memory of the common struggle against the Yankee and the Freedman, the white South became united as it rarely had been before the war.

Slavery placed the South on the defensive in the modern world. From its early cosmopolitanism, the South after 1830 increasingly turned inward, developing a siege mentality to justify itself and its essential institutions. Under attack from the outside, the region came to see THE SOUTHEKN FAMILY ROMANCE AND ITS CONTEXT 21 itself as different from the rest of the United States. e. 2 In the planter ideology, leisure was valued over hard work; the cultivation of the social graces and hospitality was preferred to the pursuit of the main chance; a patriarchal hierarchical society came to seem preferable to an egalitarian one; the agrarian way of life was preferred to the urban, industrial sort.

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