The DETOURIST
The DETOURIST
4 / Greenville: A "Pocket of Enlightenment" in the Sahara of the Bozarts
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4 / Greenville: A "Pocket of Enlightenment" in the Sahara of the Bozarts

A "Pocket of Enlightenment" in the Sahara of the Bozarts
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In this episode of our road trip through the landscape of memory in the American South, we stumble into Greenville, Mississippi, a town with a surprisingly rich past and a unique relationship with the Mississippi River. We will explore the impact of the devastating 1927 flood, how it shaped American culture, and how it occasioned in the Percy family an internecine conflict of Shakespearean magnitude. We will look at the impact of the flood and of Southern aristocratic stoicism on Will Percy, who both upheld and defied societal norms in the region, and became a godfather to a generation of Southern writers, including his cousin Walker. This one has it all: pathos, drama, virtue, vice, and gambling. Welcome to “The Detourist.”

[0:00] Introduction and Journey Begins
[1:03] They Said It’d be Daft to Build a Town on the Mississippi River
[2:21] Dead Mules in the Foyer: The Great Flood of 1927
[4:55] Tumblin’ Dice on the Other Side of the Levee
[5:44] Greenville, Fiefdom of the Cotton Kingdom
[6:56] The Percys of Greenville
[8:27] LeRoy Percy: Doomed Flight of the Silver Eagle
[10:21] “The Rout of the Aristocrats: The Percys and the Bilbos”
[15:14] Will Percy: Episcopalian Melancholic
[19:27] An Unlikely “Center of Cultural Dissent”
[26:14] High and Dry on the Levee
[35:06] The Mississippi Delta is America

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