Notoriously, certain cultural institutions don’t jibe well with Southerners. Our interests here on Sweep read like a laundry list of them: the Left, Catholicism, academe, environmentalism… We share very few concerns with the Australian philosopher John Anderson, but we do share his conviction that ideas need to have “sweep”.
Have we switched our carpetbags for laptop cases? At first blush (and we are blushing deeply) that might seem to be the case. But we’d like to think that Southern or Appalachian perspectives are not peripheral to the shape of the new populism, social justice, the new evangelization, ecology, and so forth.
Sweep launched in January 2014. Despite our initial enthusiasm, a blogosphere driven by the news cycle distracted us from our core concerns and detracted from the quality of our writing. By Summer 2014, we took an indefinite hiatus. One year on, we look to reinvent Sweep as a slow blog, infrequently publishing longer reflections on philosophy, politics, and literature. These are drafts of papers in the making, reflections that we would insist, with Kierkegaard, are without authority.
Sweep gathers essays with a predilection for the grotesque and the sardonic, with a wry pessimism and an even wryer hope, with an earnest commitment that is hard to separate from a tongue-in-cheek sense of our absurdity. In that sense, we’re influenced by the “Christ haunted” South of Walker Percy, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, and John Kennedy Toole—Wendell Berry in our lighter moments, Cormac McCarthy when we’re feeling bleak.
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