From 'The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists'

Quotes from some of the subjects of "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists":

Walker Evans

Originality and truth and direct simplicity and honesty are what I look for in a photograph. I approach things as a moralist because honesty and truth are moral values. But beauty is something else. It is a word that should be used damned carefully. I do not know if I can tell you what I think beauty is, but it has got to be there.

 Alice Walker

People may need religion to further their social programs, their political agendas or even their spiritual desires. But essentially what is divine is in front of you all the time. You cannot separate yourself from the earth. If you understand that, you lose all fear of dying.

. . .

Flannery O’Connor said that anybody who has outlived her childhood has enough material to last her the rest of her life. I draw heavily on my childhood and what I knew and what I saw and felt. But after “Meridian,” I slowly moved away from that. Now I am creating situations and characters that are removed from what I knew as a child.

 Robert Penn Warren

Some of the Fugitives talked about Irish writers and their colonial relation to England. The Irish were producing great writers, and they were having a vengeance on the English through their literature. The Fugitives talked about the parallels between the South and Ireland. The South was outside the great industrial establishment of the North, and they saw a parallel with the Irish writers.

. . .

When the Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education was made, I was at Yale and I felt left out. I wanted to go back in the South to see what had happened. Others felt the same way. Allen Tate was living in Minnesota then, and he wrote me a letter saying, “We are missing the show. We ought to be back south. We ought to be back home.” I was feeling the same thing. I did the book “Segregation: the Inner Conflict of the South” [1957] for my self-indulgence to see the South again.

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