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Writing From Two Minds – Part 3

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The last article of the Two Minds theme I've fabricated from the October/November 2010 issue ofThe Writer’s Chronicle has to do with D.H. Lawrence and his fascination with the Etruscan culture in what is now Italy. Lawrence was well-traveled and had a consuming interest in antiquities. This added to his innovative style of travel writing.

 

This writing of Lawrence’s juxtaposed his impressions of a very creative, artful ancient culture with the modern culture of Italy at the time of his life – that of Fascist Italy. Such a contrast of old and new could only create resonant and lasting impressions  of both cultures.

 

Having drawn these very sketchy pictures of writing within cultures but with outside perspectives, I had to sit back and examine my own cultural stereoscope.

 

Where is my contrast, then? Given the Southern blood within me, it has to be a modern, pragmatic balancing perspective – something perhaps inflammatory to the South?

 

I have a military background, but that’s also part of the Southern ethos. My enjoyment of the outdoors? A tendency to hard work? All part of the Southern ethos. As I look back at my developing stories, I do see one contrast at work: in these stories, I'm looking largely to people glued to a rural area of the South from the standpoint of my being raised in a rootless family, constantly traveling the world, and my working for many years in an urban Southern environment. Not quite what I expected to articulate here, but it's certainly at work in these stories.

With that divined, we’ll just have to see how the remaining stories go…