Place and Story

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image via savetheslope.blogspot.com

I attended an excellent presentation yesterday, courtesy of the Appalachian Authors Guild, by one Joe Tennis, a journalist and nonfiction writer of the southern Virginia and eastern Tennessee area. He's done the sort of research into local lore that makes me a bit jealous – the sort journalists do.  

As a journalist, he has a perfect license to talk to the folks in those areas about all sorts of things – in his case, local history – and that happens to include folklore – including ghost stories.

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image via susanjtweit.typepad.com

He did a great job of speaking to both fiction and nonfiction writers about the value of place in story. I've gone on about that myself from time to time. It's a trait of Southern consciousness, I think, to think of self, others, and things – inanimate and material – in terms of place. Not just to set stories, but to cast place as something of a character, the ways in which place captures story.  

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