Monday, March 28, 2011

"Fresh Eggs," by Jeffrey N. Johnson

Johnson’s beautifully written story takes place in contemporary time and owes a nod to the Southern Agrarian tradition. When H.L. Mencken wrote his 1920 essay, “The Sahara of the Bozeart,” he chastised the South for its poverty of intellectual and cultural contributions. In response, twelve eminent Southerners wrote I’ll Take My Stand: Southern Agrarian Tradition (1930) which help foster a formidable Southern Literary Renaissance. In Johnson’s story, the reader feels the loss of culture through the protagonist who laments that his young son will only experience a weekly visit for fresh eggs as “a childhood novelty, a petting zoo at best.” The heart of the story is not ideological but the deeper theme that the boy is unaware of, how people are more important than the competitive price of eggs. Read it here at Night Train.

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