Sut Lovingood's Nat'ral Born Yarnspinner: Essays on George Washington Harris

Overview

Sut Lovingood's Nat'ral Born Yarnspinner: Essays on George Washington Harris is the first collection of critical commentary and new scholarship to be published on the east Tennessee, antebellum comic writer who was famous for creating the character of Sut Lovingood. The collection both recognizes and reconfirms the status of Harris as one of the most important antebellum comic writers by bringing together new essays with essential biographical information and representative commentary from the past. Anyone ...
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Overview

Sut Lovingood's Nat'ral Born Yarnspinner: Essays on George Washington Harris is the first collection of critical commentary and new scholarship to be published on the east Tennessee, antebellum comic writer who was famous for creating the character of Sut Lovingood. The collection both recognizes and reconfirms the status of Harris as one of the most important antebellum comic writers by bringing together new essays with essential biographical information and representative commentary from the past. Anyone wishing to understand Harris and his place within the tradition of American humor will want to read this book. Born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, Harris (1814-1869) spent most of his life in Knoxville, Tennessee. He served as captain on a Tennessee River steamboat, tried his hand at large-scale farming, and operated a metal working and jewelry shop. While on the farm he began to experiment with a variety of literary forms, and by 1854 he introduced Sut Lovingood, a youthful and "nat'ral born durn'd fool" from Tennessee. Throughout the 1850s Harris created a variety of adventures for Sut that were extremely popular and often reprinted. Many of these Sut stories were included in his only book collection (Sut Lovingood. Yarns Spun by a "Nat'ral Born Durn'd Fool"), which was first published in 1867 and remained continuously in print until 1925. In his masterful use of dialect, striking control of metaphor and imagery, and the creation of explosive action, Harris was to have no match until Mark Twain and William Faulkner, both of whom read Harris with great appreciation.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Presents 26 essays (including one by Mark Twain) on the life and career of this antebellum comic writer, whose "Sut Lovingood" stories appeared throughout the 1850s. The introduction looks at the comic tradition in the US, beginning with items published in 1846. Part One contains historical background on Harris. Part Two is a series of reviews, criticisms, and discussions (dated 1867 to 1987); and Part Three deals with more recent views on Harris's work, including one that compares Sut to comic Andrew Dice Clay. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817308216
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Table of Contents

An Editorial Note
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
The Life of George Washington Harris (1947) 33
Sudden and Mysterious Death (1869) 69
The Real Sut (1955) 72
New Publications (1867) 77
New Books (1867) 78
Sut Lovingood (1867) 79
George Washington Harris (1907) 80
Sut Lovingood's Yarns (1909) 83
George Washington Harris (1937) 87
Man in the Open Air (1941) 94
Poisoned! (1955) 99
A Note on Edmund Wilson and George Washington Harris (1962) 108
The Fool as Point of View (1965) 115
Sut and His Illustrators (1967) 126
Timon in Tennessee: The Moral Fervor of George Washington Harris (1970) 139
The Blind Bull, Human Nature: Sut Lovingood and the Damned Human Race (1978) 148
George Washington Harris and Supernaturalism (1982) 176
Sensuality, Revenge, and Freedom: Women in Sut Lovingood. Yarns Spun by a "Nat'ral Born Durn'd Fool" (1983) 190
Sut Lovingood: A Nat'ral Born Durn'd Yarnspinner (1987) 200
A Tribute to Harris's Sheriff Doltin Sequence 217
Seeing Sutly: Visual and Verbal Play in the Work of George Washington Harris 228
Propriety, Society, and Sut Lovingood: Vernacular Gentility in Action 246
Sut and His Sisters: Vernacular Humor and Genteel Culture 261
Playin' Hell: Sut Lovingood as Durn'd Fool Preacher 272
Uneasy Laughter: Sut Lovingood - Between Rip Van Winkle and Andrew Dice Clay 299
A Bibliography of George Washington Harris 315
Contributors to "New Perspectives"รค 315
The Editors 325
Index 327
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