Because we lost

Tuesday in Austin at Nature’s Treasures

Because we lost.

As a clue, a source file.

But the way I remember it? It was a Faulkner quote, attribution, mired, and buried in time.

“The south has produced so many great writers because we lost the war.”

In modern more contentious and litigious times?

“If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate. The ‘Ode to a Grecian Urn’ is worth any number of little old ladies.”

(Hi Mom!)

I couldn’t find, in a quick search, that as a Faulkner quote, “The south has produced so many great writers because we lost the war.” Instead? Looks like Walker Percy.

Because we lost.

Without a quick source, I can’t rely on a vague memory as a verified, fact-checked source. Might be a Walker Percy quote, for all I can quickly dig up, but the sentiment remains, and by his end, awards and all, Faulkner was a dreadful drunk.

He was, depending on source, deeply ashamed at the cultural legacy leftover from the old south, and in the same tone, reverential about the old south, despite that horrible historical blot.

I don’t think he was ever able to reconcile those internal differences. Listening to a client, with her deeply Southern lilt — a gorgeous accent itself? The acknowledgement that Faulkner’s position as royalty might be a little overrated. “A bit wordy.”

I’ll accept that.

I’m always a little leery of revisionist history.

Because we lost.

Never having done a thorough assessment of the literature of the north versus that of the south, best I can do is accept that part of my family is southern, with a touch of the true southern gothic layered into the mix, just as an added flavor. Like a touch of pepper in a deep-fried batter mix.

It’s there.

Doesn’t make any of this more — or less — right.

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