Last week’s view of Flannery O’Connor as both Southern and Catholic was of a writer working from within Southern culture, but also from without – given that Catholicism as a religious subculture wasn’t then part of the Southern landscape (Okay, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Coast are largely Catholic).
This week’s The Writer’s Chronicle article, by Marjorie Sandor, has to do with yet another Southern writer, whose personal and cultural viewpoints might make more sense in writing from within and without a given culture: Eudora Welty. While the article takes another stance on writing perspective, Welty’s personal history is revealing with regard to the Two Minds theme.
Welty lived a long life, a lot of it in the Jackson, Mississippi, house she knew as a child. She was, however, educated in New York City and worked there for a while. She traveled widely, in Europe. And she apparently spent a lot of emotional time later wishing she could revive those halcyon days. Certainly having your mind on the Paris Metro while writing about the South can spawn a new perspective.
This is writing from within and from without: knowing a culture and its ways, but writing as if in some ways she were a visitor from, say, New York City or Paris, France.
Next time, a last example of my “Two Minds” theme, and how I figure in it.
Causes Bob Mustin Supports
Native American culture. Education. Creative writing.