Monday, March 7, 2011

Quotes of the Damn Day: Shelby Foote

"If Americans were anything as superior as we claim to be, we would be paragons of virtue, and of course, we're not that. But we are superior in another sense. And our superiority comes from this diversity of the way we're made up. We can see a subject in a different way from the way a Frenchman or an Englishman or a German would see things because so many different points of view are combined in the one American mind. It gives us a view of things that's extremely valuable to the world as well as to ourselves."

"People want to know why the South is so interested in the Civil War. I had maybe, it's a rough guess, about fifty fistfights in my life. Out of those fifty fistfights, the ones that I had the most vivid memory of were the ones I lost. I think that's one reason why the South remembers the war more than the North does."

"There is something that is too often overlooked of a far serious nature than the usual business about drawls and accents and overalls. And that is we truly, having lost a war, know a tragedy that other Americans do not know or have not experienced. Certainly not until Vietnam. We know what it means to lose a war. But what we have gained from it is of more value than the people who won the war got from it. We got a true sense of tragedy, and I think that it counts in part for the dominance of Southern writers in the history of American literature, particularly in this century."


9 comments:

Ms. Moon said...

I think he's right.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Yeah, I'm clearly biased, but I think he was right about most things.

Mel said...

Oooh, great quote. Hope this link works, check it out, free ebook with words by Mr. Foote and some heartbreakingly lovely photos of feral southern homes.

http://bit.ly/el0gmc

xxoo

Big Mark 243 said...

I KNOW he is right. When I think about my boxing career, I think the most hard on the bouts that I lost. It is their memory that drive me when things get tough and I have to think about sucking it up and going on anyway.

Gledwood said...

That person has spent too much time on American soil and not enough in Europe. In Western Europe we're all mongrel countries with a very high proportion of immigrants. London is far more of a melting pot than New York, literally DOUBLE the number of languges are spoken (though this could be just lame statistics collated in different ways I find that difficult to believe that there are twice the number of "linguistic communities" in London as New York...)... perhaps the difference is that until very recently Britain was piss easy to get into and to vanish into as an illegal immigrant, WAY easier than America, and we were fool enough to dole out unemployment benefit etc to FOREIGNERS! Seriously!

Shit this has turned into a political rant but I did have a point. I'm sure we have just as many viewpoints as America in Europe, we have to have more actually if you count one viewpoint per person then the EU has 100,000,000 more people more than the USA hence 100,000,000 more viewpoints!

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

I agree with you two.

Tell me, can you see this over there?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00z8j5w/The_Graham_Norton_Show_Series_8_Episode_18/

Please watch it, I think you'll love it. Love you xx

downtown guy said...

I've said that before: we are the Americans who have lost a war on our soil. There is no way we could be not different. But to be a leftist southerner is to be a whole different beast. It's not small enough to be discussed via written language. It needs alcohol and hand motions.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Mel,
Thanks a lot, doll. I'll check it out for sure.

Big Mark,
Thanks for the input.

Gleds,
Didn't mean to get you worked up, buddy. Laugh. Love you!

Christina,
I'll check it out. Love you lots.

DTG,
I agree. Alcohol and hand motions, indeed! Laugh. I adore you, you know.

Love to all,

SB

Syd said...

I think that the South has not gotten over the "recent unpleasantness". It is relived with rancor in many areas down here. It is also tough to live in a state that is so conservative and frothingly teapartyish. There are a few of us yellow dog Dems around though.