After Southern Modernism: Fiction of the Contemporary South - download pdf or read online

By Matthew Guinn

ISBN-10: 1578062721

ISBN-13: 9781578062720

The literature of the modern South may possibly top be understood for its discontinuity with the literary earlier. At odds with traditions of the Southern Renascence, southern literature of this present day sharply refutes the Nashville Agrarians and stocks few of Faulkner's and Welty's matters approximately position, group, and historical past.

This sweeping research of the literary South's new course specializes in 9 good confirmed writers who, via breaking clear of the firmly ensconced myths, have emerged as an iconoclastic new release- -- Harry Crews, Dorothy Allison, Bobbie Ann Mason, Larry Brown, Kaye Gibbons, Randall Kenan, Richard Ford, Cormac McCarthy, and Barry Hannah. Resisting the modernist tools of the earlier, they've got verified their very own postmodern flooring past the shadow in their predecessors.

This shift in authorial point of view is an important indicator of the way forward for southern writing. Crews's seminal function as a ground-breaking "poor white" writer, Mason's and Crews's portrayals of rural lifestyles, and Allison's and Brown's frank portrayals of the reduce category pose a problem to conventional depictions of the South. The dissenting voices of Gibbons and Kenan, who concentrate on gender, race, and sexuality, create fiction that's right away identifiably "southern" and likewise incredibly subversive. Gibbons's iconoclastic stance towards patriarchy, just like the outsider's critique of neighborhood present in Kenan's paintings, proffers a portrait of the South unparalleled within the region's literature. Ford, McCarthy, and Hannah every one procedure the South's conventional notions of heritage and group with new irreverence and deal with accepted southern subject matters in a exceptionally postmodern demeanour. no matter if via Ford's widespread customer panorama, the haunted netherworld of McCarthy's southern novels, or Hannah's riotous burlesque of the Civil struggle, those authors assail the philosophical and cultural foundations from which the Southern Renascence arose.

Challenging the normal conceptions of the southern canon, this can be a provocative and leading edge contribution to the region's literary learn.

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Extra info for After Southern Modernism: Fiction of the Contemporary South

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Crews's revelation was a fortunate one,- in the years since his epiphany he has produced thirteen novels and four works of nonfiction that authoritatively explore the demesne of the lower-class southern white, pioneering an artistic viewpoint that until recently could appropriately be termed "absolutely unique among Southern writers" (Shelton, "Poor Whites" 47). Indeed, Crews's success as an author has hinged upon his relationship to the term "grit",- rather than viewing the word as an epithet, he has accepted it with pride.

And so, of course, the gulf between them and the master races was impassable, and their ideas and feelings did not enter into the makeup of the prevailing Southern civilization. —W. J. Cask The Mind of the South The poor whites of the South: a nice study in heredity and environment. Who can trace their origin, estimate their qualities, do them justice? Not I. —William Alexander Percy, Lanterns on the Levee pastoral mode traditionally has been one of the predominant motifs of T hesouthern literature.

Thus the rural emigrants occupy a space similar to the "crossing of the ways" Tate observed but with economic hindrances that prohibit them (unlike the Nashville Agrarians) from proposing a nostalgic return to the land. They therefore allow for a completely new perspective in southern fiction. The interval they occupy, rife with combustibility, carries the potential for horrific violence—a rejection of the new culture—or a refined regional consciousness. For Crews and his grit emigre characters, the necessity of cultural transformation is irrefutable, yet the change is tempered by a sense of loss, the transition a poignant exodus from a world that "would always exist, if nowhere but in memory" (Childhood 14).

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After Southern Modernism: Fiction of the Contemporary South by Matthew Guinn

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