Front Porch: Spring 2008

Anthropologist Melissa Schrift is our guide to the Angola Prison Rodeo and Inmates Arts Festival in "The Wildest Show in the South." Photograph courtesy of Melissa Schrift.

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Front Porch: Spring 2008

by Harry L. Watson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 14, No. 1: Spring 2008

"It's not hard to see how nostalgia could become a southern theme song."

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” William Faulkner’s most famous line comes up a lot whenever people discuss the American South. The way some people interpret it, the idea seems to be that the future never happens down South; the region is so changeless that life just keeps repeating itself. Old times there are not forgotten, as the song says. You could also read Faulkner’s proverb to mean that no one and no country ever gets a blank page to write on; we never completely escape what came before us. We historians like that idea. It’s good for business.