In 1980, on the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of I’ll Take My Stand by twelve Southern writers who had labeled themselves‘agrarians,’ Andrew Lytle, one of the original twelve, wrote an essay he titled Reflections of a Ghost – An Agrarian View After Fifty Years.
He reflected back on the agrarian movement, on the South they had known then and all that had happened since. He concluded,
“I’ve often asked myself: Why was it that so few people
listened to us, although most were sympathetic. The
kind of life they knew was at stake. I think the reason
of their seeming indifference is this: nobody could
imagine the world they were born in, had lived in, and
were still living in could disappear. Well, it has”
Now, thirty years later, there seems even less of that world. I've ben thinking of this a lot lately as I work in preservation and continue to write.