Summer 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 3 Nonfiction |

Forgive Me, Mrs. Reilly: Or, How a New York Jew Learned to Love the South

The images writers absorb in their childhood have a way of ultimately linking imagination to geography. At some point in the future, those images are discovered anew, quietly lying in wait in one's consciousness, like Apaches about to ambush the cavalry in a Hollywood western. Inert rocks suddenly spring from the screen in the shape of howling warriors. Just as suddenly, one's emotional geography turns over, to explode into fragments. One discovers that memory is not reality. It is simply memory. I suppose that is why I am still somewhat puzzled by the remarkable persistence of my long love affair with the American South. For the images of the South imposed on me as a child, in school and in the streets of New York, were certainly not designed to make me love it. The gods might have been laughing at my ignorance of the South, but in my memory their laughter sounds brittle and ironic. For the South I heard about during childhood and adolescence was a region stained by iniquity, a

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Changeling Sorrows

By Rachel Hadas

The images writers absorb in their childhood have a way of ultimately linking imagination to geography. At some point in the future, those images are discovered anew, quietly lying in […]

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