Study Guide

John Crowe Ransom - The Southern Old-Fashionists

The Southern Old-Fashionists

This was a real hodge-podge group. Members hailed from all corners of the South; the only condition for membership was loving old Southern stuff, especially if it was rusty or had a domestic purpose (e.g., old kitchen equipment, claw foot bathtubs, Mason jars, and peely paintings of swaying cornfields). The goal was to enjoy and then purge a deep sense of nostalgia about oxidized junk with only the faintest connection to an old way of life.

Stark Young
Honorary Member

Strangely, this American playwright had no interest in joining, so the SOFs just made him an honorary member. Why did they grant him this privilege, you might ask? Well, first his name provided a funny little twist. Second, he loved going antiquing and wasn't afraid to wake up early, so they felt that they'd lose out on a lot of good stuff if they didn't rope him in somehow.

Robert Penn Warren
Resident Success Story

Anyone would fight to have Robert Penn Warren as a member of their group. This dude wrote a best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel called All the King's Men, which no other member could say. He also brought some credibility to the group since he wasn't burdened by bad associations with racism—he was a huge champion of integration and civil rights. Way ahead of the curve.

Donald Davidson
Resident Historian

Don was a great historian by training, so it was perfect when he volunteered to archive all of the great rusty objects floating around in club HQ. His usual interests ran toward dams, land, and the history of the Tennessee River. He was a member of the Fugitives, too, but they never trusted him because he was in favor of segregation. Boo.