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A Staunch Traditionalist With A Gypsy Heart

I struggle with a painful sense of filial piety.

I have a love of tradition, a love of my parents, and a love of my heroes. Everyone who knows me expects me to bring up Flannery O'Connor in every conversation. She's an author who speaks to me in a way few people ever have. Both in her fiction and in her essays, she takes on the importance of tradition for the writer. She sees writers as writing within the context of a certain culture, and human beings as living within the context of cultures. Therefore, she concludes, the writer has to write with their culture. If they do not, their writing will be unrealistic, too general, too abstract. It lacks grounding. It is not concrete.

I've been living my life this way for the past four years. I was convinced by her argument, and in many ways I still am. But I was unhappy, and in similar ways I still am. The reason is because I have a gypsy heart, and although I was raised in the South I was born in Mexico and constantly find myse…

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