The Future of Southern Letters

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The New South -- home of shopping malls, hub airports, HooDoo, "Good Ole Boys," empowered African Americans, and immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Haiti -- is still haunted by the Gothic ghosts of its past. Does this collision of past and present account for America's fascination with new Southern writers like Bobbie Ann Mason, Ernest Gaines, Rita Mae Brown, Robert Olen Butler, Cormac McCarthy, Dorothy Allison, and Allan Gurganus? Or does this popularity stem from their clinging to a stereotypical past that a national audience requires? Jefferson Humphries and John Lowe have assembled a remarkable team of scholars and writers to address topics such as the past, humor, black autobiography, ethnicity, and female oral traditions in an attempt to define Southern culture today and ask who will be writing Southern literature tomorrow. The answers they give will interest readers of Southern literature and history, creative writers, and scholars and students of Southern culture.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195097818
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Pages: 208
  • Lexile: 1380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Jefferson Humphries is Professor of French, English, and Comparative Literature at Lousisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Among his many publications, Dr. Humphries is the author of The Puritan and the Cynic: the Literary Moralist in America and France (OUP, 1987). John Lowe teaches Southern, African American, and ethnic literature and theory at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, where he is Professor of English. Currently, Dr Lowe is Senior Fulbright Professor for 1995-96 at the Amerika-Institut in Munich.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
1 Southern Writing and the Problem of the Father 20
2 Still Southern after All These Years 33
3 Writing on the Cusp: Double Alterity and Minority Discourse in Appalachia 41
4 The Shape of Appalachian Literature to Come: An Interview with Wil Hickson 54
5 Porch-Sitting and Southern Poetry 61
6 Of Canons and Cultural Wars: Southern Literature and Literary Scholarship after Midcentury 72
7 .... And Ladies of the Club 87
8 An Interview with Brenda Marie Osbey 93
9 The Discourse of Southernness: Or How We Can Know There Will Be Such a Thing as the South and Southern Literary Culture in the Twenty-First Century 119
10 Autobiographical Traditions Black and White 134
11 Speculations on a Southern Snipe 143
12 Robert Olen Butler: A Pulitzer Profile 155
13 The Rhetoric of Southern Humor 170
Index 187
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