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About this collection

The Lula Ulrica Whitaker Southern Agrarian Writers Correspondence digital collection contains correspondence from nine of the authors known as the Twelve Southerners. The correspondence, written in 1934, describes each author's understanding of the Southern Agrarian movement.

I have no delusions about the hardness of life, whether in the city or on the farm. But my notion of the good life, with whatever of happiness is allowed to mortals, is by inheritance and philosophical inclination necessarily founded upon country life- or upon a culture, at least, which is not dominated by industrial and urban patterns. In those patterns, as they have lately flourished, I can see neither happiness, nor decency, nor hope.

Donald Davidson, 1934 March 25

We are poets, historians, critics; we are not writing bills for passage through legislatures, but are concerned with the moral assumptions underlying specific courses of action, and with the values of social and political programs. Like any other intellectual movement, the agrarian movement requires, for proper understanding, not only a knowledge of history and politics but a comprehension of the relation of these to the whole realm of culture -- art, literature, the good life.

Allen Tate, 1934 March 6

In 1934, Lula Ulrica Whitaker solicited correspondence from the Southern Agrarians as part of the original research for her 1935 University of Chicago masters thesis entitled, Twelve Southerners and Agrarianism, thereby creating a collection of letters from the authors that explains their pro-Southern, Agrarian essays published in the 1930 book I'll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition. Whitaker asked the Agrarians the following questions:

  1. Do you think the Agrarian movement has progressed any since the publication of your book?
  2. Are you practicing any of the modes of conducted advocated by The Twelve Young Southerners?
 
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