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Lillian Smith, Cold War Intellectual

Lillian Smith, Cold War Intellectual Lillian Smith, Cold War Intellectual by Thomas F. Haddox Over the past four decades, scholars in southern studies have constructed images of two different Lillian Smiths.1 The first is Smith the liberal humanist, moralist, and therapist, whose worldview derives equally from a secularized vision of Christian brotherhood and a spiritualized vision of psychoanalysis. She believes in a universal human nature, affirms the aesthetic value but not the ontological reality of difference, and regards equality as a human birthright, something that would be self-evident had not neuroses and oppressive social structures -- above all, "the race/sex/sin spiral" endemic to southern culture (Killers 121) -- poisoned otherwise spontaneous and healthy relationships. Fond of tributes to the human spirit and possessing what Jay Garcia calls "transnational dimensions" (60), Smith frames the South's predicament within global anticolonial struggles and, more abstractly, within the imperative that she calls "the Twentieth Century dialogue . . . [of ] relationships not systems" (Killers 233). Though committed to the civil rights movement and possessing indubitable moral courage, she believes that lasting social change will come neither as a result of pragmatic efforts to seize power, nor as the consequence of a more accurate theory, but rather http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Lillian Smith, Cold War Intellectual

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English .
ISSN
1534-1461
Publisher site
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Abstract

Lillian Smith, Cold War Intellectual by Thomas F. Haddox Over the past four decades, scholars in southern studies have constructed images of two different Lillian Smiths.1 The first is Smith the liberal humanist, moralist, and therapist, whose worldview derives equally from a secularized vision of Christian brotherhood and a spiritualized vision of psychoanalysis. She believes in a universal human nature, affirms the aesthetic value but not the ontological reality of difference, and regards equality as a human birthright, something that would be self-evident had not neuroses and oppressive social structures -- above all, "the race/sex/sin spiral" endemic to southern culture (Killers 121) -- poisoned otherwise spontaneous and healthy relationships. Fond of tributes to the human spirit and possessing what Jay Garcia calls "transnational dimensions" (60), Smith frames the South's predicament within global anticolonial struggles and, more abstractly, within the imperative that she calls "the Twentieth Century dialogue . . . [of ] relationships not systems" (Killers 233). Though committed to the civil rights movement and possessing indubitable moral courage, she believes that lasting social change will come neither as a result of pragmatic efforts to seize power, nor as the consequence of a more accurate theory, but rather

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 10, 2012

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