I Came Out of the Eighteenth Century
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
Series: Southern Classics
Title page, Series page, Copyright
Series Editor’s Preface
Mark M. Smith
Mark Bauerlein’s trenchant introduction and William Craig Rice’s edifying afterword to John Andrew Rice’s, I Came Out of the Eighteenth Century, help us properly understand the life and times of an unusually keen mind. Republished in its entirety for the first time since its suppression in the...
Introduction: The Witness and Wisdom of John Andrew Rice
Those of us who believe that a clear understanding of the past is essential to an honest, rational present are particularly fond of small facts that explode stereotypes about American history that people maintain for reasons other than knowledge. When the subject is the American South, subject as it is to...
I. Grandmother Smith's Plantation
Every day in summer and on warm days in the winter my grandmother sat in her chair at the end of the long front piazza and smoked her clay pipe--a thing, I have since been told, a lady never did. But a lady did...
Columbia in 1892 was an awkward overgrown village, like a country boy come to town all dressed up on a Saturday night. The red clay roads from the countryside flowed into it and became by definition streets, kept straight by the bordering sidewalks and lot lines...
III. Grandmother Rice's Plantation
My father's family lived in the low country, a hot muggy malarial land that sapped the strength and drained ambition from all except the toughest. The sandy soil, shading in color from grey on hillock and hammock to deep black at the swamp edge, merged...
My first intimate acquaintance, and enemy, in Montgomery was a cow. My father, lover of simple country life, in imagination, and for others, calling himself and yet never having been a farm boy, thought it would be good for my character to have a cow to milk and to...
V. Webb School
As a man who has been cheated in business or love or any of the things that happen will toss on his bed through the sleepless night, going over each step in the transaction and saying to himself, "If I had done this," "If I had not done that," and rises with the sun, full...
VI. Interlude Among the Half-Castes
New Orleans was a city of gutters, gutters everywhere, on houses, in yards, along both sides of every street, and crossing, each with its perilous little bridge, at the comers. Through gutters hanging under the eaves the constant rain was carried to great wooden...
VII. Oxford and Rhodes Scholars
The thrifty traveler to a far country is not a discoverer; having read guidebooks and steamship folders and listened to his friends, the learned Columbus will make a voyage of connnnation, and will approve according as he meets with the expected. A British visitor...
VIII. Sam Avery and the University of Nebraska
Sam Avery had a nose like the neck of a whiskey bottle. It jutted out and downward straight from between his eyes, and then, when it was about to be too long, bulged suddenly and rounded into the size of a golf ball. It was as if it had been poured into a mold...
IX. Rollins Was Holt
I had heard and read something of Rollins College, all of it a little questionable, and had seen pictures in the rotogravures, one in particular that invited speculation, of Corra Harris surrounded by carefree students. This, the caption said, was the class in "Evil," the...
X. Black Mountain
Black Mountain was born on the wrong side of the blanket. An agent of the Carnegie Foundation told me that, about two years after we, some twenty students and eight teachers, had gone up on the mountain to create, or in the hope of creating, a new kind of...
It should come as no surprise to readers of I Came Out of the Eighteenth Century that John Andrew Rice’s unstinting candor came at great cost to him in his professional and personal life. Yet that candor also appears to have kept him remarkably honest about the deeds and details of his life—and...
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