Recently, in an informal essay, a student opened with these explanatory lines:
Writing for me is difficult because I am a southerner. I struggle with pronouncing my words correctly, because I have a southern language.
The saddest part about that opening is that the poor heart probably believes it. She thinks that being southern has somehow crippled her ability to deal in words. At the least, she is willing to blame anything other than her basic ignorance and lack of motivation.
Thankfully, there are ample evidences of great southerners who have overcome this substantial burden and managed to make those words come. Reynolds Price has long been one of my favorites of those, and tonight, I started his Blue Calhoun. It is so lyrical, so twangy - the language the verbal equivalent to pinto beans and greens. Just good and right and home. I like not knowing the situation yet. I like being teased a bit with the storyline, and I'm confident that Price will reward my patience.