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Carson McCullers: A Deep South Legend

Updated on June 15, 2012

A Story Of Sorrow

Carson McCullers was a brilliant Southern writer, one that Faulkner praised, one whose book was made into a movie wit h Marlon Brando. But few seem to give her the praise she deserves, outside, of course, of Southern literature academics and literary buffs who have bled on their own crosses of Southern insanity and glory. She hung out in Paris, with the rest of the gang --Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and her many colleagues that held her in high esteem. But my big news is this --her childhood home is next door to me! I recently moved into a new apartment, went on my first walk, and there it was, with a historical marker....and residents inside. I stood there in a moment of meditative silence and gratitude, and I continued on.

That night, inspired, I went to the local theater here and did an improv performance about her. Though afterwards some commended my delivery, I must have had many long-term residents here ask me, "Who was Carson McCullers? Is that someone you made up?"

And that was the point of much of her work. The dark cloud of confusion and sheltering distortions that shape the South, that give it its dimension, its tragedy, and lead often unfortunately but truthfully to it receiving a laughable reputation in other areas of the country. But Carson got it. She lived the pain of her time, wrote it, and went on to die at an early age from the physical ailments (possible caused by the psychological) that always plagued her. Well, regardless, she's a victor in my mind. Rest in peace, noble sister - you earned it.

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      Cathy Fussell 4 years ago

      You will be interested to know that the McCullers childhood home you reference is owned by Columbus State University and is home for CSU's Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians. It is open by appointment and for special events. When you saw folks inside, there was probably a special literary event going on. You might want to join the Center's mailing list. E-mail mccullerscenter@columbusstate.edu -- Cathy Fussell, retired director, CSU's Carson McCullers Center

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      ramerican 4 years ago

      Thanks, Cathy. I'm glad you found this. I knew there was a McCuller's center, but for some reason I thought the childhood home was something different. I'll contact the folks at CSU. Thanks!

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