I don't like to be described as a Southern writer. The danger is, if you're described as a Southern writer, you might be thought of as someone who writes about a picturesque local scene like Uncle Tom's Cabin, Gone With the Wind, something like that.
The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair.
What needs to be discharged is the intolerable tenderness of the past, the past gone and grieved over and never made sense of. Music ransoms us from the past, declares an amnesty, brackets and sets aside the old puzzles. Start a new life, get a girl, look into her shadowy eyes, smile. Fix me a toddy, Lola, and we'll sit on the gallery of Tara and you play a tune and we'll watch evening fall and lightning bugs wink in the purple meadow.
I am not ashamed to use the word class. I will also plead guilty to another charge. The charge is that people belonging to my class think they're better than other people. You're damn right we're better. We're better because we do not shirk our obligations either to ourselves or to others. . . .we live by our lights, we die by our lights, and whoever the high gods may be, we'll look them in the eye without apology.