"[Brooks] has demonstrated once again why he is regarded as one of our most highly competent and engaging scholar-critics. . . . An informatively compact, fluent, scholarly, and edifying inquiry into the most essential tool of the writing trade-language."
—Southern Humanities Review
It is this rich spoken language, Brooks suggests, that has always been the life blood of southern writing. The strong tradition of storytelling in the South is reflected in the tales told by Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus and in the obsessive retellings that structure William Faulkner's novels and stories. But even more crucially, the language of the South--firmly rooted in the land but with a tendency to reach for the heavens above--has shaped the literary concerns and molded the complex visions to be found in the poetry of Robert Penn Warren and John Crowe Ransom; the stories of Flannery O'Connor, Peter Taylor, and Eudora Welty; and the novels of Warren, Allen Tate, and Walker Percy.
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