A Certain Slant of Light: Regionalism and the Form of Southern and Midwestern Fiction

Overview

In A Certain Slant of Light, David Marion Holman examines two prolific regional American literatures - those of the South and the Midwest - from about 1832 to 1925. By focusing on the role history played in the imaginations of selected writers of that period, he seeks to answer a perennial question: What is "midwestern" about midwestern literature, and what is "southern" about southern literature? At least until 1910, Holman says, the fiction of the two regions was characterized by two very different modes - ...
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1995 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Clean and tight-unused copy-Excellent! ! Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 137 p. Southern Literary Studies. Audience: ... General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In A Certain Slant of Light, David Marion Holman examines two prolific regional American literatures - those of the South and the Midwest - from about 1832 to 1925. By focusing on the role history played in the imaginations of selected writers of that period, he seeks to answer a perennial question: What is "midwestern" about midwestern literature, and what is "southern" about southern literature? At least until 1910, Holman says, the fiction of the two regions was characterized by two very different modes - romance in the South and social realism in the Midwest. For the southerner, the past was the plantation, the aristocrat, and the Civil War. Even in writing about the present, the southern writer, Holman maintains, had to confront, directly or indirectly, the ghosts of the past - ghosts that could be exorcised, vilified, or romanticized, but never ignored. For the midwestern writer, the past was the pioneer and the settling of the frontier - a past of promise unfulfilled and unattained. The midwestern myth at once glorified the common man as the promise of America and deplored him as venal and narrow-minded. By 1925 modernism had become a major force in American letters, providing the next generation of writers - perhaps best represented by Hemingway in the Midwest and Faulkner in the South - with new ways of confronting old ideologies, and these writers synthesized many of the premises of romance and realism.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807118702
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Series: Southern Literary Studies
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

David Marion Holman taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Texas A&M University and was assistant professor of English at the University of Mississippi at the time of his death in 1988.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: David Marion Holman, 1951-1988 1
1 Why Regionalism? 7
2 Regionalism and Romance: Cooper, Hawthorne, and Simms 25
3 O Brave New World! The Rise of Midwestern Realism 49
4 A History Reinterpreted, a Past Discovered: Ellen Glasgow and Willa Cather 81
5 A Narrowing Distance, a Widening Gyre: Region and Modernism 111
Bibliography 123
Index 131
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