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Bloody BreathittPolitics and Violence in the Appalachian South$
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T.R.C. Hutton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813136462

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813136462.001.0001

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“The feudal wars of Eastern Kentucky will no doubt be utilized in coming years by writers of fiction ”

“The feudal wars of Eastern Kentucky will no doubt be utilized in coming years by writers of fiction ”

Reading and Writing Bloody Breathitt

Chapter:
(p.207) 7 “The feudal wars of Eastern Kentucky will no doubt be utilized in coming years by writers of fiction ”
Source:
Bloody Breathitt
Author(s):

T. R. C. Hutton

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813136462.003.0008

Most Americans’ source for what “feud” means came from fiction, especially in the nineteenth century when interest in European antiquity was especially high. After the Civil War “feud” became a special cultural device for parsing the antebellum past from an industrial present (and future). This coincided with the federal government's (and, in a sense, the North's) declining interest in reforming the South, as well as with the new scrutiny and othering of Appalachia between the 1880s and 1910s. Applying “feud” to current events was a strategy for placing them discursively in the past in order to minimize their importance or that of their participants. The creation of Bloody Breathitt was part of this larger task of separating past from present. Eventually, even Breathitt County's own citizens conformed their memory to the parameters of the assumptions imposed upon them from the “outside world.”

Keywords:   Appalachia, memory, blood feuds, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, whiteness, primordialism, tribalism, temporal hierarchies

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