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…
Causes Bob Mustin Supports
Native American culture. Education. Creative writing.