Tuesday, April 21, 2009

William Faulkner on Virginia families

"Even in our wilderness the old Virginia blood still runs and the old Virginia names- Byrd and Lee and Carter- still endure. There is no family in our wilderness but has that old aunt or grandmother to tell the children as soon as they can hear and understand: Your blood is Virginia blood too; your great-great-great grandfather was born in Rockbridge or Fairfax or Prince George- Valley or Piedmont or Tidewater, right down to the nearest milestone, so that Virginia is a living place to that child long before he ever heard (or cares) about New York or, for that matter, America."

- “Address to the Rave, Jefferson, and ODK Societies of the University of Virginia”, Charlottesville, Feb. 20, 1958, William Faulkner: Essays, Speeches & Public Letters, Modern Library, 2004.

I am Carter on my mom's side. The correct pronunciation being kaw'-tuh.


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Ah yes, Mr. Faulkner gets it right. And, despite those who think America has no culturally distinct areas which contribute so much to what makes America beautiful, it remains true to this day.

RGW, a 9th generation Virginian.

Justin said...

"a 9th generation Virginian"I love it.

Of course, the old Virginia blood flows in the veins of so many people and of all ethnicities. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that only a few pass it along to their kids as a thing of value. Thanks for commenting Richard.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"the old Virginia blood flows in the veins of so many people and of all ethnicities."

So true. My wife is descended from Monacan Indians here in Virginia. One of my daughters-in-law has Virginia ancestors going back almost as far as I do, but is also part Lebanese.

November In My Soul said...

I was born and raised in The Valley. I now live in Georgia which is a great state in its own right but Virginia is home.