The Southern Heritage

The Southern Heritage

The Southern Heritage

The Southern Heritage

Excerpt

BUT THE WEB is tangled and the unweaving will take time. Let us stretch our feet to the fire and try to untangle it. We are the South. The problem is in ourselves, and, standing as we do today on a moving frontier between a great agrarian past and a great industrial future, we need to understand ourselves, what past we carry within us and what sort of future may find rootage in that past.

I face this problem as I have always faced the problems of my own life. I have never wished to reform myself; the implications are too drastic. I have wished to form myself, to discover the essential spirit of my life, to become in fact what potentially I am. This has been in part the problem of discovering what sort of person he would be who was equally imbued with his mother's acceptance of the past and his father's longing for the future.

I have no desire, then, to reform the South. It would be futile anyway. What I should like to do is to learn what the South is striving to be, as she hesitates now between the past and the future. She once had, by all admissions, a style of life. I should like her to have that again. The only way she can have it is to be what . . .

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