Lit: The Marrow of Tradition

by Andrew Keys on April 2, 2010

If posting is light this week, it’s because I’m actually out IN the garden. For now, since we’re talking about Magnolia, I’ll leave you an ever so Southern Gothic passage in which Magnolia appears in a very different context than that I recall.

The night was hot and sultry. Though the windows of the chamber were wide open, and the muslin curtains looped back, not a breath of air was stirring. Only the shrill chirp of the cicada and the muffled croaking of the frogs in some distant marsh broke the night silence. The heavy scent of magnolias, overpowering even the strong smell of drugs in the sickroom, suggested death and funeral wreaths, sorrow and tears, the long home, the last sleep. The major shivered with apprehension as the slender hand which he held in his own contracted nervously and in a spasm of pain clutched his fingers with a viselike grip.

– Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition.

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