Interview with Thomas D. Clark, April 20, 1987

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

In this interview, Dr. Thomas Clark discusses various Southern writers and other literary figures that were producing major commentaries on the South. He starts off with a story about meeting William Faulkner on the golf course that Clark took care of while attending the University of Mississippi. Clark talks about John Crowe Ransom who he became good friends with and who published "I'll Take My Stand" which was a very influential collection of essays. Clark lists other influential writers like George Fort Milton, William Hesseltine, Frank Owsley, Allen Tate and Andy Lytle.

Clark talks about the younger generation of scholars that he encountered like David Jackson, Robert Weaver and Rupert Vance. He also discusses the Dunning scholars like Mildred Thompson, Ben Kendrick, William K. Boyd, James G. de Roulhac Hamilton and Tom Staples. Clark names A. B. Moore, Dumar Malone, William K. Boyd, and Fletcher Green as incredible southern historians. He describes the forming of the Southern Historical Association as a way the history of the South came to the forefront. History departments were strong and university presses were good outlets for writing. The Journal of Southern History opened up the contribution of essays. Through all this, library material grew "phenomenally."

Clark makes a list of who he believes are Kentucky writers like Elizabeth Pickett Chevalier, [Elna Mercine Kelly], [Anna Fellows Josten], or [Alice Hegan Rice], Irvin S. Cobb, John Fox, Jr., James Lane Allen, Arthur Crock, Bud Guthrie, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, Elizabeth Hardwick, Harold [Arnow], Jesse Stuart, Wendell Berry and James Still. Clark then touches on race relations and how much it was a theme throughout Southern literature. He believes young scholars don't know the extremes of the South but they are witnessing a transitional period.

Interview Accession

1987oh054_af301

Interviewee Name

Thomas D. Clark

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1987-04-20

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Clark, Thomas D. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 20 Apr. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Clark, T.D. (1987, April 20). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Clark, Thomas D., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. April 20, 1987, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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