A New Moment
Karma, southern-fried or not, is freedom, not fate. What we reap and what we sow is not determined by unavoidable fortune but by our choices. Considering that Donald Davidson and his fellow Fugitive scholars, critics, and poets were in their 70s and 80s during the Summer of Love, it’s unlikely they dropped LSD and listened to John Lennon’s “Instant Karma.” Nashville wasn’t Berkeley. They may have discussed prevenient grace, but not the cosmic principle of rewards and punishments following us from one human incarnation to another. Yet they made a clear choice at a critical moment during the early 20th century. Their ardent repudiation of Southerners’ disproportionate faith in consumerism and caution regarding excessive industrialization are still valid today.
The original Fugitives, a literary group centered around Vanderbilt University, believed in the importance of art and intellect. Their coalition toggled between a mystical and a pragmatic stance that society faced in the 1920s and 30s. Taken in today’s context, their views on slavery could be considered pitiful rationales, but at the time, their opinions on race, gender, privilege, and justice were contrary to The Lost Cause movement and the white overseers of capital—the new rich of post-Reconstruction, but the old money of today. As citizens, we must question the establishment. This is the mission of The New Southern Fugitives, our weekly zine.
Each week, we offer subscribers prose, poetry, and visual art that challenges our comfortable perspective of the South. By focusing on briefer, uniquely web-based works, we strive to promote diversity, reach a broad audience, and cultivate the new Southern voice of the New Millennium. A critical part of our success is our subscribers and contributors, and we are always seeking more of each. We attend book festivals throughout the Southeast and advertise in literary publications so we can promote the growth of new voices. We don’t charge a reading fee, and we pay our contributors upon publication. Please send us your work, and encourage your friends to do the same!
Being part of the Southern Fried Karma family, we present ourselves with a similar appearance: red to mark a promising venture, yellow to activate the mind, and blue to honor the earth tone our Creator used to color the sky, rivers, and oceans. Shiva’s trishula is present in all SFK enterprises. The Hindu avatar is known as the destroyer who pierces our egos with his three-pronged spear. It is through the destruction of our conceited mindsets that we learn to relate to one another beyond physical form. Self-importance cannot love, but souls can. We aspire to create a means that allows us to glimpse one another as fellow souls, born in the same manner and traveling to the same destination. By promoting our diversity, we are striving to illustrate our commonality. Join as witnesses to the journey.