RARA-AVIS: Stribling: our kind of guy

From: Mario Taboada ( matrxtech@yahoo.com)
Date: 10 Sep 2003

Somebody put a Stribling obituary on the net. Here's a quote that shows his writing:

"Every rustic in the Southern hill country believes that if he can get to the nearest village and set up a grocery store, his fortune is made. A groceryman doesn't have to work; he simple sits in his store and waits for customers. He pays nothing for bed and board; he can eat free out of his stock and sleep in the back of his store. Every penny he takes in is pure profit because he buys on a credit. More Southern hill men sell their lean acres, go to town and set up a grocery store than commit any other form of financial suicide."

This powerful declarative prose reminds me not so much of Faulknerian Southern but of mountain talk (if you've ever heard Ralph Stanley talk you'll know what I'm talking about).

Stribling is our kind of guy. The Store is a great novel. Stribling was as good as Erskine Caldwell but without so much melodrama and anger. Now I am curious about his pulp fiction.



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