To the Editors:

Faulkner was speaking for Southerners when he said, "The past is not dead; it isn't even past." Having recently moved North after a life spent mostly in the South, I find Northerners wondering why Southerners talk as if the past were real. I tell them that in the South, we have been busy for a long time trying to sort out the past worth keeping from the past worth getting rid of. It's a job that connects us with most of the world's people today—the vital business of achieving a particular identity in a plural world.

For my own part,...

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