In response to:
Second Thoughts from the May 22, 1969 issue
To the Editors:
I was surprised to see, in Denis Donoghue’s very interesting review of the Ransom, Tate and Fugitive books [NYR, May 22], the reference to the “Northern condescension” of W.J. Cash’s Mind of the South.
There was no one more Southern nor more devoted to the South than W.J. Cash. It seems a curious way to speak of him.
Denis Donoghue replies:
There is no quarrel. I was giving, perhaps with undue brevity, Donald Davidson’s reaction to The Mind of the South. The gist of Davidson’s review was that Cash’s attitudes were not properly Southern; they were tainted with New York and Chicago, the result being a kind of condescension for which my word “Northern” is, in the circumstances, accurate. The fact that the book was written by a Southerner (born in Gaffney, South Carolina) made it harder to bear. Cash was indeed devoted to the South, but that was not enough for Davidson, most intransigent of Fugitives, with a war on his hands.
October 9, 1969