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Knoxville 1915

Excerpt from “Knoxville: Summer of 1915”— from James Agee’s essay "Knoxville" and the introduction to his Pulitzer Prize-winning posthumous novel, A Death in the Family

Mar 23, 2012

Posted by Kimmy Sophia Brown
This is an excerpt from perhaps one of the most sensitively written American novels ever written.

"On the rough wet grass of the back yard my father andmother have spread quilts. We all lie there, my mother, my father, my uncle, my aunt, and I too am lying there. They are not talking much, and the talk is quiet of nothing in particular, of nothing at all in particular, of nothing at all. The stars are wide and alive, they seem each like a smile of great sweetness, and they seem very near. All my people are larger bodies than mine, quiet with voices gentle and meaningless like the voices of sleeping birds. By some chance, here they are, all on this earth; and who shall ever tell the sorrow of being on this earth, lying, on quilts on the grass, in a summer evening, among the sounds of night."

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