Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 7: No 1) >> Notes & Queries and Simms Society News >> Page 32

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Page 32

Scholarship | 1999
Transcription literature. Kibler writes that "The cultural values that produce
good architecture, art, and gardens are not far from the values that
produce great literature. They all stem from rootedness in place
and deep knowledge thereof." He is a firm advocate of "staying
put" and sees in modern "careerism" an undermining of true
culture and community, as people simply "go where the job is."
The center of his philosophy is conservation, a wise use and
preservation for other generations of the best of Southern culture,
whether in literature or the natural or built environment. Kibler
concludes that only by knowing a place truly well its past and
present—can we guard against its abuse. He hopes that this truth
will be one of the lasting legacies of Our Fathers' Fields. He
concludes that a book that tells of the basic old human verities
"can have the power to bridge time, to last, to speak to generations
yet unborn, bringing all into a kind of family. That is the power of
the spirit of place to move all those who understand place and how
fragile and dear it is."
His current work, just completed this winter, is a cycle of
stories that attempts to capture the spirit of the Appalachian folk
ballad. It is entitled The Forgotten Country.


"Sound and Sense in Simms's Poetry" by James Kibler will be published in the
next issue of Southern Literary Journal (Volume 31, pp. 12-18).