I Don't Hate the South: Reflections on Faulkner, Family, and the South / Edition 1

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Overview

I Don't Hate The South takes its title from the famous declaration by Faulkner's character Quentin Compson in the novel Absalom, Absalom!. The book traces Baker's own ambivalent relationship to the South and its various protocols of family and black expressive cultural independence through a memoiristic recounting of the author's various academic posts, family dramas, travels, and engagements with that most famous of southern authors, William Faulkner as well as the black expressive "experimentalists" Percival Everett and Ralph Ellison. I Don't Hate The South's central claim is that the South is a laboratory, metaphor, and proving ground for American polity as a whole. W. E. B. Du Bois noted: "As the South goes, so goes the nation!" Houston Baker sets out to show the present-day wisdom of Du Bois's observation in a post-Hurricane Katrina moment of national family crisis. With incisive wit, scrupulous literary and cultural analysis, and vivid portraits of members of his own family, the author provides captivating reading and an object lesson on the United States' regional and national interdependence.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195326550
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/6/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Houston A. Baker, Jr. is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. Currently Distinguished University Professor of English as Vanderbilt University, he has taught at Yale, the Universities of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and Duke. His books include Turning South Again: Re-Thinking Modernism, Re-Reading Booker T., Critical Memory: Public Spheres, African American Writing and Black Fathers and Sons in America, and Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     xiii
On the Distinction of "Jr.": Geographies of My Father Name     3
Libraries of Consciousness: Public Reading and American Identity     23
A Book of Southern Distinction: The Souls of Black Folk at 100     33
Still Crazy after All These Years: A Yale Black Studies Story     53
The Poetry of Impulse: Black Words on Southern Green     67
Modernity and the Transatlantic Rupture: Sugar and the New South     81
Traveling with Faulkner: A Tale of Myth, Contemporaneity, and Southern Letters     97
"If you see Robert Penn Warren, ask him: "Who does speak for the Negro?" Reflections on Monk, Black Writing, and Percival Everett's Erasure     121
Failed Prophet and Falling Stock: Why Ralph Ellison Was Never Avant-Garde     151
The Catch: A Meditation on Family, Mental Illness, and My Father     165
Conclusion: Even God Believes in "No Guarantees"     185
Suggestions for Further Reading     193
Acknowledgments     197
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