Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why would Kevin Costner and Hershel Parker say "More is More"?

Genetics, of course[?] Parker and Costner as Aestheticians

In RESOURCES FOR AMERICAN LITERARY STUDY Autumn 1981 (printed late in 1983) I made a big argument that sometimes "More is More." The Chicago Tribune on 16 April 1989 printed an article in which Kevin Costner declared likewise that sometimes "More is More." On 1 May 1989 I received a clipping of this article from Brian Higgins, who remembered the RALS article and thought it an interesting coincidence. Calling Higgins on several matters, I mentioned that of course this advocacy for "More is More" was genetic, since my mother was Martha Costner. Brian had not known I was a Costner. "Ho ho ho," we laughed. Then I asked my last Costner uncle if he knew anything about one of our Costners becoming an actor and he said, "Sure do, he's one of Uncle Mode's grandson Bill's sons." That is to say, my second cousin once removed.

Now, what do studies of families show about such similarity of attitudes in the descendants of two brothers? To be sure, these two brothers were closest in age and went off from Mississippi together into the wilds of the Oklahoma Territory panhandle and homesteaded there, so that their many children knew only one uncle. The Costner cousins there in Guymon knew no other relatives for ten years or so. How much of the "More is More" attitude, if any, could be genetic reinforced by family tradition?

My mother, one of the children born in Guymon, Oklahoma Territory, in her youth was known as "Bull Head Costner." That sort of thing, plainly, cannot be inherited or instilled.

I am only half joking here, because I want to test the limits of what's inherited and instilled when I write ORNERY PEOPLE, about the American ancestors I have found through the Internet, beginning at the end of 2002.

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