We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Ahhh--I have an interesting example for you. Great western states journalist wrote a good novel. A story about the real west, then he wrote another and that was a great read also, and then a third. THEN he enrolled in a doctoral program in literature at a university run by fem/nazis. The next ten years he wrote several books, each becoming more stilted in style, loosing the simple voice and ability to convey the details. It was painful to watch locally. He would do book signings and talks at local bookstores, each time more and more people were asking "where's your voice?" Finally, after some heavy handed fem/nazi wrangalling he got out of the "writing school", and took his ph.d from the history department. Interesting turn of events his most recent books are showing a return of true, simple, and beautiful storytelling style grounded in his original training as journalist. This author's body of work clearly demonstrates what a "writing school" can do to talent. It was also a visible demonstration of what happens to white bread American males when they try to subjugate themselves to newly arrived fem/nazis!
Same thing happens to writers who sign contracts with a publishing firm that wants four books a year. Stephen King - good example. His best book, 'The Stand', was his first. Same with John Grisham - best book was the first.
Everything Flannery O'Connor ever penned is 'best'. Amazing writer - like many southern female authors. Florence King rules.
Oh DEAAR META: What the hell is it down there? You folks do something wonderful to the mind that would write! I for one am very fond of Eudora, and of course Faulkner. There are so many, many more, it makes one wonder what the hell--who the hell--was teaching literature at Ol Miss in those days!
AP.... Who knows, but the southern writers rule. I taught eleventh grade one year and never again. I could not stand the early American authors - mostly of the NE., but once I got into the other authors, I was fine. Still, it wasn't enough to keep me struggling in that grade. World lit. and British lit. were my thing.
On my own, however, I ate up the southern writers. Here's a short list.... I love 'em!! :)
Pat Conroy .... whoa....
James Dickey - I had to do an interpretive dance for him when he came to my college to read his rotten poetry. His books were great.