Front Porch: Spring 1999

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Front Porch: Spring 1999

by Harry L. Watson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 5, No. 1: Spring 1999

"Along the way, we hope to give everybody some ideas, even some things you can think about tomorrow. We hope so, because that's why we keep doing this."

A distinguished southern historian we know tells the story of being asked to name the three greatest southern novels. It was a high-brow cultural gathering and the glare from the leading literary lights was practically blinding. Everyone leaned forward to hear the wise man’s answer. Who would make it to the winner’s circle? Who in the audience would guess the same combination of Warren and Percy, Faulkner and O’Connor? Wouldn’t the second-guessing be delicious at the ensuing reception? Tension mounted as the professor furrowed his brow.