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Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction

By Euan Hague; Edward H. Sebesta et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
Literature and Neo-Confederacy

KEVIN HICKS

From the early 1600s several different cultures developed in America. The South-
ern culture, I think, in many ways was the strongest and the most enduring. We
have our own speech and our own manners, among other things. We have our
own music and our own literature which can be recognized. America as it is now
doesn't have any culture.
1

—CLYDE WILSON, 1999

Works of fiction—novels and poetry—can mean more to a people than all the
political manifestoes and reports from all the think tanks and foundations ever
established by misguided philanthropy. A people's character, at its best and worst,
can be read from its novels.
2

—THOMAS FLEMING, 1982


Introduction

For neo-Confederates like Clyde Wilson and Thomas Fleming, the idea of true Southern culture and identity is most clearly expressed through the region's narrative traditions: song lyrics, historical accounts, or, as examined here, fictional literary works. Organizations like the League of the South (ls) and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (scv) have established literary boards, produced seminars on Southern artists and writers, sponsored music festivals, and printed lists of "essential reading for educated Southerners" in magazines, including Southern Partisan.3 Leaders of the ls, many of whom have PhDs in history and literature, have stressed cultural issues by producing sixty-five videotapes in a series entitled "Te History and Literature of the South" and have also established an educational arm, the League of the South Insti

-226-

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