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Storytelling in Appalachia: A Sense of Place

Southern Appalachia has long been identified in the popular imagination with a deep-rooted sense of place, an antique and authentically distressed region that is somehow "more real" than the industrially processed America that surrounds it. That this imagined Appalachia has some deep kernel of truth only encourages both locals and outsiders to pump it full of entertainment calories for the mass market (see Dollywood, Gatlinburg, and Opryland). But the traditional art of storytelling has been an essential part of that truth--a part that has been only mildly susceptible to refinement into cornpone.

While Appalachia didn't invent the front porch

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