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Brock Clarke on the southern character (a tasty Friday morning morsel)

What a pleasure it is, in the reading life, to come upon a sentence that's as richly delicious as a bite of warm clafouti. Brock Clarke offers this one in An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England:

...I'd met a few of what he called "his authors," had heard him talk about those authors, and so I immediately pegged Wesley Mincher for what he was: a character, too, the sort of southern character who believed that being a southern character had something to do with misdirectional doublespeak, and losing the Civil War and not wanting others to talk about it but not being able to stop talking about it yourself, and having wise, lugubrious old folks and front porches for them to sit on, and black people, always black people, about whom you knew everything and about whom no one else knew shit, and the idea that self-criticism is art but criticism from outside is hypocrisy, and wise, folksy sheriffs and God and farm animals and good food that wouldn't be good if you ate it in a restaurant and not in your mama's kitchen, and a set of whitewall tires leaning up against the barn that would look good on the 1957 Buick that you had a funny story to tell about.


Lord. I need a cigarette after that. And I don't even smoke.

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