"Now, that's lovely," James said. "Your in-law's farm?"
"Yes, I spent many summers there. By the way, have I ever told you my theory of the excessive use of landscape in Southern Writing?"
"No, you haven't. Let's hear it."
"Elaborate, saccharine descriptions of plantations, farmland, rivers, magnolia trees, and so on, are a subliminal attempt by white Southern writers to put a pleasing veneer on a most loathesome subject--a culture built upon the moral bankruptcy of slavery. It's like putting a bad picture in a beautiful frame."
"Think about it. Landscape is employed as the only truly noble character available among folks who started a war to protect their alleged right to inflict suffering and bloodshed on Africans."
"Tell me how you really feel about it, Harold!"
"Ha! And furthermore, once they've exhausted the enobling potential of scenery, they turn to characters who are eccentric or grotesque."
"Flannery O'Connor springs immediately to mind."
"Precisely. The woman was unapologetic about her obsession with the bizzare. She said she was merely writing about what she saw and who she met."
"And this is the henhouse?"
"Cluck, cluck, CLUCK."
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