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The Death of the Midwest: Garrison Keillor’s Impending Retirement as a Wake for Midwestern Regionalism

July 25, 2015

In the first paragraph on the first page of his first book, in the wind-up for a tale about a private eye (not Guy Noir) who shakes down tycoons for grant money to bestow upon artists, Garrison Keillor alludes to what would be his central significance to American letters. His hero, the grizzled sleuth Jack Schmidt, is returning to Minneapolis after “two days attending a conference on Midwestern regionalism.” The story is sly and meandering and funny and typifies Keillor and his 40 years of story-writing and story-telling and there, prominently on display in the opening scene of his first book, is the key to Keillor’s place in American culture: Midwestern regionalism. It’s a dying art form and, with Keillor’s contemplation of retirement, its final passing may be imminent. (Keillor announced he was retiring in 2013, but later changed his mind.)

So begins a fine essay on Garison Keillor and Midwestern regionalism by the historian Jon Lauck. You can find the entire article here: The Death of the Midwest: Garrison Keillor’s Impending Retirement as a Wake for Midwestern Regionalism | Belt Magazine | Dispatches From The Rust Belt.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 25, 2015 2:48 pm

    Reblogged this on Buffalo Doug.

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