Rick Bragg says in Southern Living that the defining element in Southern writing is... a dead mule. I myself have never seen a dead mule, but I can imagine a dead one is even more stubborn than one alive. Now, having blogged about a dead mule, am I officially a Southern blogger?
"My survey of around thirty prominent twentieth-century Southern authors has led me to conclude, without fear of refutation, that there is indeed a single, simple, litmus-like test for the quality of Southerness in literature...whose answer may be taken as difinitive, delimiting, and final," wrote professor Jerry Leath Mills, formerly of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, more than a decade ago. After some four decades of cataloging, he concluded that the true test is: "Is there a dead mule in it?...Equus caballus x asinus (defunctus) consitutes the truly catalytic element..."