Sunday, August 26, 2007

John William Corrington

Shreveport Bench

I’ve been gone from Shreveport for almost thirty years [at the time of the writing], but, as you can see, Shreveport has never left me. It remains the subject and matrix of my work, and it always will. Not because my recollections of it are without pain, or because I lived a golden untroubled childhood here. It wasn’t that way. But the experiences I had here, the places I remember, the people I loved–and even the ones I despised–have been as useful to me, as evocative, as Paris of the 1880’s and 90’s was to Marcel Proust. Not in a direct sense, certainly. I have never written an roman a clef about Shreveport, using real people with fake names. Yet at the same time all my characters live here. They fitted smoothly and anonymously into the interstices of time and space in the period between 1863 and 1960.
* * * *
Even today, with thirty years . . . between me and Shreveport, when someone asks where I’m from, I invariably answer without thinking, “Shreveport.” When I start to put together a new story, I think of its setting here, or in New Orleans, or somewhere in between. Even when I write of New York or London or Los Angeles, the people are from Louisiana–simply because those are the people I know in the same way I know myself.

John William Corrington

1 comment:

trudeau said...

This is the kind of reporting I appreciate. You nailed this one, Kathryn. And thanks for running Talbot's photo of Jett enjoying the flow of the back yard hose.