Serpent in Eden: H. L. Mencken and the South

Overview

The appearance in 1920 of H. L. Mencken's scathing essay about the intellectual and cultural impoverishment of the South, "The Sahara of the Bozart", set off a firestorm of reaction in the region that continued unabated for much of the next decade. In Serpent in Eden, Mencken scholar Fred Hobson examines Mencken's love-hate relationship with the South. He explores not only Mencken's savage criticism of the region but also his efforts to encourage southern writers and the bold "little magazines", such as the ...

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Overview

The appearance in 1920 of H. L. Mencken's scathing essay about the intellectual and cultural impoverishment of the South, "The Sahara of the Bozart", set off a firestorm of reaction in the region that continued unabated for much of the next decade. In Serpent in Eden, Mencken scholar Fred Hobson examines Mencken's love-hate relationship with the South. He explores not only Mencken's savage criticism of the region but also his efforts to encourage southern writers and the bold "little magazines", such as the Reviewer and the Double Dealer, that started up in the South during the 1920s.

Originally published in 1974.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition — UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An engrossing study of this pivotal era and of H.L. Mencken's role as Voltaire to the southern literary renaissance...By concentrating on one seemingly narrow issue, Hobson illuminates the whole inturned debate on southern tradition and values."—Times Literary Supplement

"It is amazing, when one thinks about it, that no one had thought of doing what Fred Hobson does in this able and entertaining essay; tracing, that is, the intriguing public and private relationship between Baltimore's 'intellectual bombardier' and southern literati of the twenties." — Edwin M. Yoder, Jr., in the National Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807896877
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 7/21/2010
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Hobson is professor of American literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-editor of the Southern Literary Journal.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
1 Prologue 3
2 "The Sahara of the Bozart": The Indictment 11
3 The Little Magazines and the New Spirit 33
4 Menckenism as a Literary Force 57
5 The "New Southerners": The Social Critics and the South 80
6 James Branch Cabell: The Last Aristocrat 121
7 Beyond Mencken: The Agrarians and the South 147
8 Epilogue 185
Notes 191
Bibliography 219
Index 237
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