By Noel Polk
Noel Polk, the Faulkner student and academician, is a local of the small Mississippi urban of Picayune. In his occupation as a global student and tourist and in his function as a instructor and a professor of literature he has moved past his origins whereas carrying on with to be nourished via his native land roots. Like many different southern males he does not healthy the surface world's stereotype of the southern male. "I virtually continuously see myself depicted within the media as both a beer-drinking meanspirited pickup-driving redneck racist, a julep-sipping plantation-owning kindhearted benevolent racist, or, at top, a nonracist strong ole boy, among the adaptations of Forrest Gump, good-hearted and retarded, who makes his manner within the sleek global now not simply because he's clever yet simply because he is - good, strong hearted." In outdoors the Southern fantasy Polk deals an apologia for an incredible phase of southern men and groups that do not belong within the media pics. His city was once no longer antebellum. there have been no plantations. No Civil battle battles have been fought there. It had little racial divisiveness. It used to be one of many hundreds of thousands that mushroomed alongside the railroads as a reaction to logging and milling industries. It used to be more often than not middle-class, no longer reactionary or unique. whereas evoking either the pleasures and the issues of his past-band journeys, a longing for cityscapes, spiritual conversion, awakening to the realities of fundamentalist fervor- Polk deals himself, his family members, and his city to exemplify a facet that's extra American than southern and a practice that's not mired some time past. As he explores the ways that his adventure of the South outlined him, he concludes that his lifestyles has been skilled in a parallel universe, no longer in a time warp. He and lots of like him exist outdoor the southern fantasy. Noel Polk is the writer of kids of the darkish apartment: textual content and Context in Faulkner (University Press of Mississippi) and editor of the analyzing Faulkner sequence and of 11 Faulkner texts for Random condominium, The Library of the US, and classic foreign.
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Additional info for Outside the southern myth
P. cm. ISBN 0-87805-979-2 (cloth : alk. ISBN 0-87805-980-6 (paper : alk. paper) 1. )Social life and customs. 2. Polk, Noel Homes and hauntsMississippiPicayune. 3. Southern States Social life and customs. I. Title. 2'15dc2196-50045 CIP British Library Cataloging-in-Publication data available FOR SCOTT, JENNIFER, MICHAEL Listen, children: Contents PREFACE ix Upon Being Southernovelized: My Town, My Department, My Friends, and Me in a Carpetbagger Novel 3 A Name for the City, A Shape for the Name: An Anti-Southern History Southern History 18 Family: My Father, Flem Snopes 43 RACE: The View from Lookout Mountain 75 MUSIC: The Wider World 107 Class and Manners 131 One Baptist Son: An Anatomy: Notes of a Survivor 151 Touching Base 207 Page ix Preface The Southern Myth that I have lived outside of is that popular vision of the South that both controls and is controlled by the media: those various images that depict the entire South on the one hand as an ongoing national farce, a sort of charming caricature of itselfwitness The Dukes of Hazzard, as if we are all creations of Al Cappand on the other hand as a tragedy brought on by its own peculiar brand of pusillanimity, racism.
There were no Civil War battles in the area, so we had no statues of Civil War heroes adorning our courthouse squarewe had no courthouse square, for that matter. We had no huge courthouse or antebellum homes sporting minié ball scars which we showed to visitors. I never to my knowledge talked to a Civil War veteran or anybody else who knew one, and I never heard tales about The War. Andrew Jackson and his troops marched through the area on the way to fight the battle of New Orleans, but that was in another war and so does not really count.
No one has suggested anything untoward or self-interested in this, but it pleases me to think that her investment in the railroad's path was directly related to her need for ironhorse transportation from New Orleans to her Mississippi home. Of course she didn't want the tracks running through her property or even close enough for her to hear the whistle or have to put up with the other turmoil and clutter of people and businesses that railroads bring with themshe had all that in New Orleansso the tracks run about Page 19 two miles west of her home on the banks of the Hobolochitto, The Hermitage, the only antebellum house in the Picayune area.
Outside the southern myth by Noel Polk