Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Matter of Geography

Geography. I'm a firm believer in it - especially when it comes to love, sex, and writing. I've been meaning to post this link for awhile but have been too busy re-reading to myself. Enjoy!

Where sounding dumb doesn’t equal being dumb.

by Roy Blount, Jr.

My tenth-grade teacher, a remarkable young lady named Ann Lewis, lent me a stack of New Yorker magazines. It was a revelation. As far as I could tell, there had never been a damn Civil War in there. Or a Crucifixion. Nobody even seemed to go to church. People drank a lot, and made cutting remarks, but they were civilized, funny, even high-minded in a Yankee sort of way. My teetotal, faith-based mother wouldn’t have liked them, but you could imagine them passing muster with Mrs. Folger.

In those old New Yorkers I smelled a secular heaven. Well, no, there was scant emphasis on smells, except when Joseph Mitchell, a Southerner, was writing about the fish market, so let’s say I glimpsed it. First chance I got, I went off up to New York. In l968 I became a resident. Kids, divorce, joint custody, and going freelance brought me farther north to semirural Massachusetts, which looks a lot like North Georgia, and I like it (except in February and March), but I doubt I’ll ever entirely settle in.

Here’s what happened when I moved to New York. I hadn’t unpacked my bag before people started telling me, “You’re not from around here.” Didn’t I know that? “I see you haven’t lost the accent,” they would say severely, as if I were willfully convicting myself of narrow-mindedness with every syllable I uttered. (more)

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