Edited By William M. Reynolds
Chapter Fourteen: Duck Dynasty Is a TV Show: The Outdoors and Southern Identity
Duck Dynasty Is a TV Show: The Outdoors and Southern Identity
DAVID P. OWEN, JR.
So the instant came. He pulled the trigger and Sam Fathers marked his face with the hot blood which he had spilled and he ceased to be a child and became a hunter and a man.
—William Faulkner, Go Down, Moses
I love William Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses (1942). I love its loosely stitched weaving of tales funny and sad and loving and tragic. I love its musings on time and nostalgia and “progress,” on what endures and what dissipates. I love Faulkner’s famous experiments in grammar and storytelling and how much I have to think to keep up. But mostly, I love everything Ike McCaslin—the reverence for the woods and all things old and mysterious, the power and paralysis of honor, the obsession with Right Manhood. I have read over and over the rituals of camp and the hunt and the stillness and felt the particularly Southern truth and blood-marked communion of man and nature.
Here’s the thing, though. I’m no McCaslin, mentored in the ways of the woods by a Sam Fathers; in fact, I’ve never even been hunting. I’ve fished and camped a few times, mostly as a kid, but I’ve never owned a tent or a gun, and my only fishing pole mostly collects dust behind the television upstairs. My family did have a place...
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