Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Bitter Southerner

There's a new on-line magazine worthy of our attention. It's called The Bitter Southerner, and the goal of Chuck Reese, the editor, and his colleagues is to bring us a story from the real South every week.

That's a daunting challenge, but they've been at this for two months, now, and the quality of the work is high.

The good news for us is that many of these stories are accompanied by photographs of exceptionally high quality, such as the images by Atlanta-based photographer Artem Nazarov (see images above and below) that accompany this week's story, by Dana Hazels Seith,  called We're All Freaks: My Three Years at the Clermont Lounge.

The goal of The Bitter Southerner is to offer stories from the real South, or as Chuck puts it, "a South that is full of people who do things that honor genuinely honorable traditions. Drinking. Cooking. Reading. Writing. Singing. Playing. Making things.

"It's also full of people who face our region's contradictions and are determined to throw our dishonorable traditions out the window.

"The Bitter Southerner is here for Southern people who do cool things, smart things, things that change the whole world, or just a few minds at a time. The world knows too little about these people, which is, alas, another reason to be bitter. But it prompted us to create The Bitter Southerner.

We’re talking here about people whose work embodies . . . “the duality of the Southern thing.”

"The purpose of The Bitter Southerner is to explore, from every angle we can, the duality of the Southern thing.

"Still, the tension — the strain between pride and shame, that eternal duality of the Southern thing — remains. Lord knows, most folks outside the South believe — and rightly so — that most Southerners are kicking and screaming to keep the old South old.

"But many others, through the simple dignity of their work, are changing things."

Congratulations to Chuck and all the folks at The Bitter Southerner. We'll  try to keep up with you, and attend to your photographs, and your stories as well.

Oh yes, the story about the Clermont Lounge, with Nazarov's photographs, and in book form, is due out in November. 

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