OPINIONSrnRaising a Flag for Mr. Davidsonrnby Randall Iveyrn”An outlaw fumbling for the latch, a voicernCommanding in a dream where no flag flies.”rn—Donald Davidson, “Lee in the Mountains”rnWhere No Flag Flies:rnDonald Davidson and thernSouthern Resistancernby Mark Royden WinchellrnColumbia: University of Missouri Press;rn386 pp., $29.95rnThe University of Missouri’s publicationrnof Where No Flag Flies: DonaldrnDavidson and the Southern Resistancerndoes much to redress a literary grieance.rnDonald Davidson, the late poet and professorrnof English at Vanderbilt University,rnhas often appeared as either a peripheralrnfigure or a “co-star” in works thatrnattempted to decipher or debunk thernmystique of Agrarianism. Not sincernThomas Daniel Young’s and M. ThomasrnInge’s 1*^71 Donald Davidson has therernbeen a book devoted exclusively to thernlife and achievements, both creative andrnphilosophical, of Daidson. The appearancernof Professor Winchell’s excellentrnand thorough new biography is a welcomernevent; it may also turn out to bernsomething of a milestone.rnWinchell’s studv owes its origin tornM.E. Bradford. Bradford had collectedrnRandall Ivey is a fiction writer who teachesrnat the Lhiiversity of SouthrnCarolina in Union.rnmaterial over the years for a projected biograph-rnof his teacher, but by his untimetyrndeath in early 1993, he had vvrittenrnonly one chapter. Two ears later,rnBradford’s widow, Marie, urged ProfessorrnWinchell to take up where her husbandrnhad left off.rnIn his preface, Winchell sums up hisrncase for Davidson:rnHe is universally regarded as one ofrnthe four most important poets ofrnthe Fugitive movement, which is itselfrnone of the hvo most importantrngroups to write in English duringrnthe twentieth centur}’. . . . As a socialrnand political writer, he was onernof the most significant influencesrnon conservative thought in therntwentieth centur’. .. . [H]e producedrna substanhal body of literar’rncriticism, the libretto of an Americanrnfolk opera, a widely used compositionrntextbook, and a remarkablernnovel, which was published nearlyrnthree decades after his death.rnDavidson’s compatriots John CrowernRansom, Allen Tate, and Robert PennrnWarren have not lacked for serious attention,rnand Winchell considers Davidson’srnpoetry the equal of the verse of thesernthree men. But Ransom, Tate, and Warrenrnmade peace with a world and a mindsetrnthat remained alien to Davidson. Thernthree of them wound up in “enemv” territor’:rnRansom escaped to Ohio to editrnthe Kenyon Review, Tate, to New York tornpursue fame and his many mistresses;rnand Warren, to New Haven, Connecticut,rnto write of his native Kentucky.rnDavidson, however, remained in Nashvillernfor the rest of his career and life.rnRansom tossed off his Agrarian armor inrnlater years and embraced the smooth silkrnrobes of the New Deal, vhile Warrenrnwrote tracts chastising the South for itsrnlANUARY 2001/27rnrnrn