This morning, we are starting with a discussion about Southern Gothic in novels with
Barton Palmer, Annette Saddik, Harvey Young with mod Robert Bray.
At least sitting in the Williams Research Center evokes a bit more mystery and ambience than the Queen Anne Ballroom of the otherwise lovely Monteleone Hotel.
There is a small cartography exhibit in the anteroom, which is a pleasant way to prepare for sitting for an hour or more. The “oilmen” map is a particular good example of the lovely and profane and so might be the best example of Gothic out there.
For me, Southern Gothic smacks of Mississippi and Alabama more than New Orleans, except of course for Tennessee himself, who we must always remember, was actually born in Mississippi.
Romantic and grotesque is always an appropriate way to describe any part of the South or any area really that has as many defeated people yet the abundance that we have.
Pat Conroy said “All southern writing can be traced to this one statement: On the night that the hogs ate Willie, momma died when she heard what daddy did to sister.”
Or, unfortunately, what one panelist this morning did to the others by taking more than half of the time allotted this panel.