Southern Literature at New College Franklin

If you have not yet acquainted yourself with New College Franklin and their commitment to solid Christian teaching from a classical approach, then visit their website at

It is my distinct honor to be asked to teach at New College Franklin once again this year. This first term I’ll be leading a seminar on Southern Literature with a particular focus on fiction. It was a quite a task to narrow the required reading list for the course. There so many good titles deserving of attention, and yet so little time to cover them. Nevertheless, I cut and crammed and landed on what I believe to be a fair representation for an introductory course. So, what are we reading? Well, in addition to a few essays, the book list for the course is as follows:

  • The Moviegoer, Walker Percy
  • A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor
  • The Collected Stories, Eudora Welty
  • Good Ole Boy, Willie Morris
  • Go Down Moses, William Faulkner
  • What Are People For, Wendell Berry


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2 responses to “Southern Literature at New College Franklin

  1. Scott Robinson

    I will be sad but understanding if O’Connor has scored a mere short story. Though ‘mere’ is meant relative to the size of other selections not goodness of depth. If you must go with a mere one course meal instead of a 7 day feast it is right and good to choose the smallest but bust cut and prepared steak available. Chewing slowly allows writing and food of quality to raise daily gifts to mountains of sacramental waftings as the inherent nature of the best piece offered up meets sacred things from above with the internal sacredness from its God-spoke monotonous rarity.

    Though I only mention what you know and share your grievance at this particular limitation of classes to time and space I trust that in,as N.D. Wilson would call it, this snow flake economy of redundant, yet wholly unique and glorious snowflakes stories in Southern Lit (particularly the O’Connor canon) studying this one snowflake under the microscope will naturally add to the glory of the many by showing the wonder of the one in its midsts.

    My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you continue in this calling. Are you teaching other classes as well? Also I can’t remember if there was a particular Percy novel you thought relevant to me or if starting anywhere with him would be equally good.

  2. Scott Robinson

    p.s. Nate I just realized this was your blog. I clicked a link from Mr. Vest saw NCF and inappropriately applied that famous epistemic razor. We have not ever discussed Percy to my knowledge and though I’m sure you love O’Connor I had Mr. Vest’s dissertation in the back of my mind as I wrote. My inquiry into you class still stands as well as my prayers. I simply have the right name to go with them and will pray for both of you, just to be safe. The more NCF teachers/priestly stewards of Christian wisdom in higher learning can only gain safety by trusting more of you to the only being worthy of trust who tunes my concept of proper good and true safety and wisdom through the Spirit by the Son to the Father of lights in whom there is no change or variation.

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