“Come Back to the Raft Ag’in, Huck Honey!”
by Leslie Fiedler

Originally published in the Partisan Review (June 1948). This version is from The New Fiedler Reader (Prometheus Books, 1999). Used without permission.

 


It is perhaps to be expected that the Negro and the homosexual should become stock literary themes in a period when the exploration of responsibility and failure has become again a primary concern of our literature. It is the discrepancy they represent that haunts us, that moral discrepancy before which we are helpless, having no resources (no tradition of courtesy, no honored mode of cynicism) for dealing with a conflict of principle and practice. It used once to be fashionable to think of puritanism as a force in our lives encouraging hypocrisy; quite the contrary, its emphasis upon the singleness of belief and action, its turning of the most prosaic areas of life into arenas where one’s state of grace is tested, confuse the outer and the inner and make hypocrisy among us, perhaps more strikingly than ever elsewhere, visible, visibly detestable, the cardinal sin. It is not without significance that the shrug of the shoulders (the acceptance of circumstance as a sufficient excuse, the sign of self-pardon before the inevitable lapse) seems in America an unfamiliar, an alien gesture....

SORRY - THIS COPY OF "COME BACK TO THE RAFT AG'IN, HUCK HONEY!" BY LESLIE FIEDLER HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN.