The Beautiful and Enduring Ozarks

Overview

Leland Payton has been leaving the 20th century behind, but taking a camera with him, and heading into the remote parts of the Ozarks for most of his life. Unlike most books on the region, The Beautiful and Enduring Ozarks combines both aspects the region is known for: its sublime natural beauty and its conservative folk culture. Payton finds something of value in each.

There are mist-filled photographs of scenic valleys and pictures of some of the spring-fed rivers' scaly ...

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Overview

Leland Payton has been leaving the 20th century behind, but taking a camera with him, and heading into the remote parts of the Ozarks for most of his life. Unlike most books on the region, The Beautiful and Enduring Ozarks combines both aspects the region is known for: its sublime natural beauty and its conservative folk culture. Payton finds something of value in each.

There are mist-filled photographs of scenic valleys and pictures of some of the spring-fed rivers' scaly inhabitants. The people of the region are lovingly portrayed, but not idealized. "Folk culture has diminished with the coming of roads and mass communication, but it's still not wise to verbally spar with a native Ozarker," Payton concludes from experience. "Hillbilly wit is a sharp instrument," he observes. "Enduring life in a rocky, infertile place puts an edge on one's outlook."

Drawn from personal experience and extensive reading in local histories, frontier travel journals, and natural history, Payton's book is unlike any other. It's a vivid and provocative literary visit to one of America's greatest mythic regions.

About the Author:

Leland Payton's ancestors, not surprisingly, were among the earliest settlers in the Appalachian Mountains and the Ozark highlands. Photographing the region of his birth evolved out of his practice of taking a sketch pad on fishing trips as a boy. Virtually unschooled (and, some say, unschoolable), he, fortunately, married an educated and literate writer, Crystal Payton. They have two sons, Strader and Ross, both in college.

Crystal and Leland have collaborated on numerous books on antiques, Branson, Missouri, and popular culture published by Abbeville Press and St. Martin's Press in New York, Chronicle Books in San Francisco and others. One of their next literary projects is a book on the hillbilly and his pop culture image. Crystal reports she has extensive notes on the habits and mindset of this cultural icon from twenty-five years of first hand observation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780967392509
  • Publisher: Lens & Pen Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1999
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 8.01 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Placing the Ozarks 6
2. Romanticism on the Rocks 18
3. Clear and Rushing Waters 28
4. Relics and Refuges 46
5. Local Color 56
6. Far from the Madding Crowd 68
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