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Southern United States literature

"Southern literature" redirects here. For other uses, see Southern literature (disambiguation).

Southern United States literature consists of American literature written about the Southern United States or by writers from the region. Literature written about the American South first begun during the colonial era, and developed significantly during and after the period of slavery in the United States. Traditional historiography of Southern United States literature emphasized a unifying history of the region; the significance of family in the South's culture, a sense of community and the role of the individual, justice, the dominance of Christianity and the positive and negative impacts of religion, racial tensions, social class and the usage of local dialects. However, in recent decades, the scholarship of the New Southern Studies has decentralized these conventional tropes in favor of a more geographically, politically, and ideologically expansive "South" or "Souths".

16 states and Washington, D.C. are defined as the Southern region of the United States by the Census Bureau. The 11 states in solid red are usually considered part of the South. The inclusion of some of the 6 states in stripes is sometimes disputed. The Census Bureau does not include Missouri, but parts of that state are considered culturally more Southern than Delaware, another state colored here in stripes, which the Census Bureau includes in the Southern region. Southern literary studies questions these geographic boundaries.

Contents

In its simplest form, Southern literature consists of writing about the American South. Often, "the South" is defined, for historical as well as geographical reasons, as the states of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia and Arkansas. Pre-Civil War definitions of the South often included Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware as well. However, "the South" is also a social, political, economic, and cultural construct that transcends these geographical boundaries.

Southern literature has been described by scholars as occupying a liminal space within wider American culture. After the American Revolution, writers in the U.S. from outside the South frequently othered Southern culture, in particular slavery, as a method of "[standing] apart from the imperial world order". These negative portrayals of the American South eventually diminished after the abolition of slavery in the U.S., particularly during a period after the Spanish-American War when many Americans began to re-evaluate their anti-imperialistic views and support for imperialism grew. Changing historiographical trends have placed racism in the American South as emblematic of, rather than an exception to, U.S. racism as a whole.

In addition to the geographical component of Southern literature, certain themes have appeared because of the similar histories of the Southern states in regard to American slavery, the Civil War, and the reconstruction era. The conservative culture in the American South has also produced a strong focus within Southern literature on the significance of family, religion, community in one's personal and social life, the use of Southern dialects, and a strong sense of "place." The South's troubled history with racial issues also continually appears in its literature.

Despite these common themes, there is debate as to what makes a literary work "Southern." For example, Mark Twain, a Missourian, defined the characteristics that many people associate with Southern writing in his novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Truman Capote, born and raised in the Deep South, is best known for his novel In Cold Blood, a piece with none of the characteristics associated with "southern writing." Other Southern writers, such as popular authors Anne Rice and John Grisham, rarely write about traditional Southern literary issues. John Berendt, who wrote the popular Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is not a Southerner. In addition, some famous Southern writers moved to the Northern U.S. So while geography is a factor, the geographical location of the author is not the defining factor in Southern writing. Some suggest that "Southern" authors write in their individual way due to the impact of the strict cultural decorum in the South and the need to break away from it.

Early and antebellum literature

The earliest literature written in what would become the American South dates back to the colonial era, in particular Virginia; the explorer John Smith wrote an account of the founding of the colonial settlement of Jamestown in the early 17th century, while planter William Byrd II kept a diary of his day-to-day affairs during the early 18th century. Both sets of recollections are critical documents in early Southern history.

After the American Revolution, in the early 19th century, the expansion of Southern plantations fueled by slave labor began to distinguish Southern society and culture more clearly from the other states of the young nations. During this antebellum period, South Carolina, and particularly the city of Charleston, rivaled and perhaps surpassed Virginia as a literary community. Writing in Charleston, the lawyer and essayist Hugh Swinton Legare, the poets Paul Hamilton Hayne and Henry Timrod, and the novelist William Gilmore Simms composed some of the most important works in antebellum Southern literature.

Simms was a particularly significant figure, perhaps the most prominent Southern author before the American Civil War. His novels of frontier life and the American revolution celebrated the history of South Carolina. Like James Fenimore Cooper, Simms was strongly influenced by Scottish author Walter Scott, and his works bore the imprint of Scott's romanticism. In The Yemassee, The Kinsmen, and the anti-Uncle Tom's Cabin novel The Sword and the Distaff, Simms presented idealized portraits of slavery and Southern life. While popular and well regarded in South Carolina—and highly praised by such critics as Edgar Allan Poe—Simms never gained a large national audience.

In Virginia, George Tucker produced in 1824 the first fiction of Virginia colonial life with The Valley of Shenandoah. He followed in 1827 with one of the country's first science fictions, A Voyage to the Moon: With Some Account of the Manners and Customs, Science and Philosophy, of the People of Morosofia, and Other Lunarians. Tucker was the first Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Virginia. In 1836 Tucker published the first comprehensive biography of Thomas Jefferson - The Life of Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States. Some critics also regard Poe as a Southern author—he was raised in Richmond, attended the University of Virginia, and edited the Southern Literary Messenger from 1835 to 1837. Yet in his poetry and fiction Poe rarely took up distinctly Southern themes or subjects; his status as a "Southern" writer remains ambiguous.

In the Chesapeake region, meanwhile, antebellum authors of enduring interest include John Pendleton Kennedy, whose novel Swallow Barn offered a colorful sketch of Virginia plantation life; and Nathaniel Beverley Tucker, whose 1836 work The Partisan Leader foretold the secession of the Southern states, and imagined a guerrilla war in Virginia between federal and secessionist armies.

Not all noteworthy Southern authors during this period were white. Frederick Douglass's Narrative is perhaps the most famous first-person account of black slavery in the antebellum South. Harriet Jacobs, meanwhile, recounted her experiences in bondage in North Carolina in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. And another Southern-born ex-slave, William Wells Brown, wrote Clotel; or, The President's Daughter—widely believed to be the first novel ever published by an African-American. The book depicts the life of its title character, a daughter of Thomas Jefferson and his black mistress, and her struggles under slavery.

The "Lost Cause" years

In the second half of the 19th century, the South lost the Civil War and suffered through what many white Southerners considered a harsh occupation (called Reconstruction). In place of the anti-Tom literature came poetry and novels about the "Lost Cause of the Confederacy." This nostalgic literature began to appear almost immediately after the war ended; The Conquered Banner was published on June 24, 1865. These writers idealized the defeated South and its lost culture. Prominent writers with this point of view included poets Henry Timrod, Daniel B. Lucas, and Abram Joseph Ryan, and fiction writer Thomas Nelson Page. Others, like African American writer Charles W. Chesnutt, dismissed this nostalgia by pointing out[where?] the racism and exploitation of blacks that happened during this time period in the South.

in 1856 George Tucker completed his final multivolume work in his History of the United States, From Their Colonization to the End of the 26th Congress, in 1841.

In 1884, Mark Twain published what is arguably the most influential Southern novel of the 19th century, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Ernest Hemingway said of the novel, "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn." This statement applies even more to Southern literature because of the novel's frank dealings with issues such as race and violence.

Kate Chopin was another central figure in post-Civil War Southern literature. Focusing her writing largely on the French Creole communities of Louisiana, Chopin established her literary reputation with the short story collections Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897). These stories offered not only a sociological portrait of a specific Southern culture but also furthered the legacy of the American short story as a uniquely vital and complex narrative genre. But it was with the publication of her second and final novel The Awakening (1899) that she gained notoriety of a different sort. The novel shocked audiences with its frank and unsentimental portrayal of female sexuality and psychology. It paved the way for the Southern novel as both a serious genre (based in the realism that had dominated the Western novel since Balzac) and one that tackled the complex and untidy emotional lives of its characters. Today she is widely regarded as not only one of the most important female writers in American literature, but one of the most important chroniclers of the post-Civil War South and one of the first writers to treat the female experience with complexity and without condescension.

During the first half of the 20th century, the lawyer, politician, minister, orator, actor, and author Thomas Dixon, Jr., wrote a number of novels, plays, sermons, and non-fiction pieces which were very popular with the general public all over the USA. Dixon's greatest fame came from a trilogy of novels about Reconstruction, one of which was entitled The Clansman (1905), a book and then a wildly successful play, which would eventually become the inspiration for D. W. Griffith's highly controversial 1915 film The Birth of a Nation. Overall Dixon wrote 22 novels, numerous plays and film scripts, Christian sermons, and some non-fiction works.

The Southern Renaissance

Main article: Southern Renaissance

In the 1920s and 1930s, a renaissance in Southern literature began with the appearance of writers such as William Faulkner, Katherine Anne Porter, Caroline Gordon, Allen Tate, Thomas Wolfe, Robert Penn Warren, and Tennessee Williams, among others. Because of the distance the Southern Renaissance authors had from the American Civil War and slavery, they were more objective in their writings about the South. During the 1920s, Southern poetry thrived under the Vanderbilt "Fugitives". In nonfiction, H.L. Mencken's popularity increased nationwide as he shocked and astounded readers with his satiric writing highlighting the inability of the South to produce anything of cultural value. In reaction to Mencken's essay, "The Sahara of the Bozart," the Southern Agrarians (also based mostly around Vanderbilt) called for a return to the South's agrarian past and bemoaned the rise of Southern industrialism and urbanization. They noted that creativity and industrialism were not compatible and desired the return to a lifestyle that would afford the Southerner leisure (a quality the Agrarians most felt conducive to creativity). Writers like Faulkner, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1949, also brought new techniques such as stream of consciousness and complex narrative techniques to their writings. For instance, his novel As I Lay Dying is told by changing narrators ranging from the deceased Addie to her young son.

The late 1930s also saw the publication of one of the best-known Southern novels, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. The novel, published in 1936, quickly became a bestseller. It won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize, and in 1939 an equally famous movie of the novel premiered. In the eyes of some modern scholars, Mitchell's novel consolidated white supremacist Lost Cause ideologies (see Lost Cause of the Confederacy) to construct a bucolic plantation South in which slavery was a benign, or even benevolent, institution. Under this view, she presents white southerners as victims of a rapacious Northern industrial capitalism and depicts black southerners as either lazy, stupid, and over sexualized, or as docile, childlike, and resolutely loyal to their white masters. Southern literature has always drawn audiences outside the South and outside the United States, and Gone with the Wind has continued to popularize harmful stereotypes of southern history and culture for audiences around the world. Despite this criticism, Gone with the Wind has enjoyed an enduring legacy as the most popular American novel ever written, an incredible achievement for a female writer. Since publication, Gone with the Wind has become a staple in many Southern homes.

Post World War II Southern literature

Southern literature following the Second World War grew thematically as it embraced the social and cultural changes in the South resulting from the Civil Rights Movement. In addition, more female and African-American writers began to be accepted as part of Southern literature, including African Americans such as Zora Neale Hurston and Sterling Allen Brown, along with women such as Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor, Ellen Glasgow, Carson McCullers, Katherine Anne Porter, and Shirley Ann Grau, among many others. Other well-known Southern writers of this period include Reynolds Price, James Dickey, William Price Fox, Davis Grubb, Walker Percy, and William Styron. One of the most highly praised Southern novels of the 20th century, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, won the Pulitzer Prize when it was published in 1960. New Orleans native and Harper Lee's friend, Truman Capote also found great success in the middle 20th century with Breakfast at Tiffany's and later In Cold Blood. Another famous novel of the 1960s is A Confederacy of Dunces, written by New Orleans native John Kennedy Toole in the 1960s but not published until 1980. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981 and has since become a cult classic.

Southern poetry bloomed in the decades following the Second World War in large part thanks to the writing and efforts of Robert Penn Warren and James Dickey. Where earlier work primarily championed a white, agrarian past, the efforts of such poets as Dave Smith, Charles Wright, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jim Seay, Frank Stanford, Kate Daniels, James Applewhite, Betty Adcock, Rodney Jones, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey have opened up the subject matter and form of Southern poetry.

Today, in the early twenty-first century, the American South is undergoing a number of cultural and social changes, including rapid industrialization/deindustrialization, climate change, and an influx of immigrants. As a result, the exact definition of what constitutes Southern literature is changing. While some critics specify that the previous definitions of Southern literature still hold, with some of them suggesting, only somewhat in jest, that all Southern literature must still contain a dead mule within its pages, most scholars of the twenty-first century South highlight the proliferation of depictions of "Souths": urban, undead, queer, activist, televisual, cinematic, and particularly multiethnic (particularly Latinos, Native American, and African American). Not only do these critics argue that the very fabric of the South has changed so much that the old assumptions about southern literature no longer hold, but they argue that the U.S. South has always been a construct.

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items.(August 2008)

South Today, Published by Lillian Smith. Ceased in 1946.

Around 2000 "the 'James Agee Film Project' conducted a poll of book editors, publishers, scholars and reviewers, asking which of the thousands of Southern prose works published during the past century should be considered 'the most remarkable works of modern Southern Literature." Results of the poll yielded the following titles:

Title Author Year
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison 1952
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men James Agee 1941
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner 1929
Mind of the South Wilbur Cash 1929
Look Homeward, Angel Thomas Wolfe 1929
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee 1960
The Color Purple Alice Walker 1982
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston 1937
Absalom, Absalom! William Faulkner 1936
Lanterns on the Levee William Alexander Percy 1941
All the King's Men Robert Penn Warren 1946
Collected Stories Eudora Welty 1980
Civil War: A Narrative Shelby Foote 1958–1974
Moviegoer Walker Percy 1961
Tobacco Road Erskine Caldwell 1932
Black Boy Richard Wright 1945
Cane Jean Toomer 1923
Native Son Richard Wright 1940
As I Lay Dying William Faulkner 1930
Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell 1936
Up from Slavery Booker T. Washington 1901
Last Gentleman Walker Percy 1966
Complete Stories Flannery O'Connor 1971
Collected Stories Katherine Anne Porter 1965
Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Ernest J. Gaines 1971
  1. Patricia Evans."Southern Literature: Women Writers" Archived 2000-03-03 at archive.today. Accessed Feb. 4, 2007.
  2. David Williamson. "UNC-CH surveys reveal where the 'real' South lies". Retrieved22 Feb 2007.
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/20200411131545/http://www.pfly.net/misc/GeographicMorphology.jpg. Archived from the original on 2020-04-11. Retrieved2007-03-18.Missing or empty |title= ()
  4. name=Jon Smith and Deborah Cohn "Look Away! The U.S. South in New World Studies"
  5. Joseph M. Flora & Lucinda H. MacKethan (eds.) The Companion to Southern Literature: Themes, Genres, Places, People, Movements, and Motifs, Louisiana State University Press, 2001. These are the states as listed in this study.
  6. Greeson, Jennifer. Our South: Geographic Fantasy and the Rise of National Literature. Harvard University Press.
  7. 1971-, Wells, Jeremy (2011). Romances of the white man's burden : race, empire, and the plantation in American literature 1880-1936. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. ISBN 9780826517562. OCLC 709606332.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. Kate Cochran. Review of Robert Brinkmeyer, Jr., Remapping Southern Literature: Contemporary Southern Writers and the West, University of Georgia Press, 2000.
  9. Hobson 1999.
  10. Michał Choiński, Southern Hyperboles: Metafigurative Strategies of Narration. Louisiana State University Press, 2020.
  11. McLean, Robert C., George Tucker, Moral Philosopher and Man of Letters, University of North Carolina Press, 1961
  12. "Thomas Dixon Jr".
  13. New approaches to Gone with the wind. Crank, James A. Baton Rouge. 14 December 2015. ISBN 9780807161586. OCLC 908373767.CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. Suarez 1999.
  15. Mills 2000.
  16. 1971-, Bibler, Michael P. (2009). Cotton's queer relations : same-sex intimacy and the literature of the southern plantation, 1936-1968. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. ISBN 9780813927923. OCLC 753978357.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. Anderson, Eric Gary; Hagood, Taylor; Turner, Daniel Cross (2015-10-19). Undead souths : the gothic and beyond in southern literature and culture. Anderson, Eric Gary, 1960-, Hagood, Taylor, 1975-, Turner, Daniel Cross. Baton Rouge. ISBN 9780807161074. OCLC 922529577.
  18. Small-screen Souths Region, Identity, and the Cultural Politics of Television. Hinrichsen, Lisa, Caison, Gina, Rountree, Stephanie. Louisiana State Univ Pr. 2017. ISBN 9780807167144. OCLC 974698560.CS1 maint: others (link)
  19. American cinema and the southern imaginary. Barker, Deborah, 1956-, McKee, Kathryn B. Athens: University of Georgia Press. 2011. ISBN 9780820337104. OCLC 706078532.CS1 maint: others (link)
  20. Scott., Romine (2014-01-06). The real South : southern narrative in the age of cultural reproduction (Louisiana paperback ed.). Baton Rouge. ISBN 9780807156384. OCLC 907252927.
  21. "125 Great Southern Books". Riverdale, MD: Agee Films. RetrievedMarch 12, 2017.

published in 20th c.

published in 21st c.

Southern United States literature
Southern United States literature Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Southern literature Southern literature redirects here For other uses see Southern literature disambiguation Southern United States literature consists of American literature written about the Southern United States or by writers from the region Literature written about the American South first begun during the colonial era and developed significantly during and after the period of slavery in the United States Traditional historiography of Southern United States literature emphasized a unifying history of the region the significance of family in the South s culture a sense of community and the role of the individual justice the dominance of Christianity and the positive and negative impacts of religion racial tensions social class and the usage of local dialects 1 2 3 However in recent decades the scholarship of the New Southern Studies has decentralized these conventional tropes in favor of a more geographically politically and ideologically expansive South or Souths 4 16 states and Washington D C are defined as the Southern region of the United States by the Census Bureau The 11 states in solid red are usually considered part of the South The inclusion of some of the 6 states in stripes is sometimes disputed The Census Bureau does not include Missouri but parts of that state are considered culturally more Southern than Delaware another state colored here in stripes which the Census Bureau includes in the Southern region Southern literary studies questions these geographic boundaries Contents 1 Overview 2 History 2 1 Early and antebellum literature 2 2 The Lost Cause years 2 3 The Southern Renaissance 2 4 Post World War II Southern literature 3 Contemporary Southern literature 4 Selected journals 5 Notable works 6 See also 7 References 8 Bibliography 8 1 published in 20th c 8 2 published in 21st c 9 External linksOverview EditIn its simplest form Southern literature consists of writing about the American South Often the South is defined for historical as well as geographical reasons as the states of South Carolina Georgia Florida Alabama North Carolina Virginia Tennessee Mississippi Louisiana Texas Oklahoma Kentucky West Virginia and Arkansas 5 Pre Civil War definitions of the South often included Missouri Maryland and Delaware as well However the South is also a social political economic and cultural construct that transcends these geographical boundaries 6 Southern literature has been described by scholars as occupying a liminal space within wider American culture 4 After the American Revolution writers in the U S from outside the South frequently othered Southern culture in particular slavery as a method of standing apart from the imperial world order 6 These negative portrayals of the American South eventually diminished after the abolition of slavery in the U S particularly during a period after the Spanish American War when many Americans began to re evaluate their anti imperialistic views and support for imperialism grew Changing historiographical trends have placed racism in the American South as emblematic of rather than an exception to U S racism as a whole 4 7 In addition to the geographical component of Southern literature certain themes have appeared because of the similar histories of the Southern states in regard to American slavery the Civil War and the reconstruction era The conservative culture in the American South has also produced a strong focus within Southern literature on the significance of family religion community in one s personal and social life the use of Southern dialects 1 and a strong sense of place 8 The South s troubled history with racial issues also continually appears in its literature 9 Despite these common themes there is debate as to what makes a literary work Southern For example Mark Twain a Missourian defined the characteristics that many people associate with Southern writing in his novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Truman Capote born and raised in the Deep South is best known for his novel In Cold Blood a piece with none of the characteristics associated with southern writing Other Southern writers such as popular authors Anne Rice and John Grisham rarely write about traditional Southern literary issues John Berendt who wrote the popular Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is not a Southerner In addition some famous Southern writers moved to the Northern U S So while geography is a factor the geographical location of the author is not the defining factor in Southern writing Some suggest that Southern authors write in their individual way due to the impact of the strict cultural decorum in the South and the need to break away from it 10 History EditEarly and antebellum literature Edit The earliest literature written in what would become the American South dates back to the colonial era in particular Virginia the explorer John Smith wrote an account of the founding of the colonial settlement of Jamestown in the early 17th century while planter William Byrd II kept a diary of his day to day affairs during the early 18th century Both sets of recollections are critical documents in early Southern history After the American Revolution in the early 19th century the expansion of Southern plantations fueled by slave labor began to distinguish Southern society and culture more clearly from the other states of the young nations During this antebellum period South Carolina and particularly the city of Charleston rivaled and perhaps surpassed Virginia as a literary community Writing in Charleston the lawyer and essayist Hugh Swinton Legare the poets Paul Hamilton Hayne and Henry Timrod and the novelist William Gilmore Simms composed some of the most important works in antebellum Southern literature Simms was a particularly significant figure perhaps the most prominent Southern author before the American Civil War His novels of frontier life and the American revolution celebrated the history of South Carolina Like James Fenimore Cooper Simms was strongly influenced by Scottish author Walter Scott and his works bore the imprint of Scott s romanticism In The Yemassee The Kinsmen and the anti Uncle Tom s Cabin novel The Sword and the Distaff Simms presented idealized portraits of slavery and Southern life While popular and well regarded in South Carolina and highly praised by such critics as Edgar Allan Poe Simms never gained a large national audience In Virginia George Tucker produced in 1824 the first fiction of Virginia colonial life with The Valley of Shenandoah He followed in 1827 with one of the country s first science fictions A Voyage to the Moon With Some Account of the Manners and Customs Science and Philosophy of the People of Morosofia and Other Lunarians Tucker was the first Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Virginia In 1836 Tucker published the first comprehensive biography of Thomas Jefferson The Life of Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States 11 Some critics also regard Poe as a Southern author he was raised in Richmond attended the University of Virginia and edited the Southern Literary Messenger from 1835 to 1837 Yet in his poetry and fiction Poe rarely took up distinctly Southern themes or subjects his status as a Southern writer remains ambiguous In the Chesapeake region meanwhile antebellum authors of enduring interest include John Pendleton Kennedy whose novel Swallow Barn offered a colorful sketch of Virginia plantation life and Nathaniel Beverley Tucker whose 1836 work The Partisan Leader foretold the secession of the Southern states and imagined a guerrilla war in Virginia between federal and secessionist armies Not all noteworthy Southern authors during this period were white Frederick Douglass s Narrative is perhaps the most famous first person account of black slavery in the antebellum South Harriet Jacobs meanwhile recounted her experiences in bondage in North Carolina in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl And another Southern born ex slave William Wells Brown wrote Clotel or The President s Daughter widely believed to be the first novel ever published by an African American The book depicts the life of its title character a daughter of Thomas Jefferson and his black mistress and her struggles under slavery The Lost Cause years Edit In the second half of the 19th century the South lost the Civil War and suffered through what many white Southerners considered a harsh occupation called Reconstruction In place of the anti Tom literature came poetry and novels about the Lost Cause of the Confederacy This nostalgic literature began to appear almost immediately after the war ended The Conquered Banner was published on June 24 1865 These writers idealized the defeated South and its lost culture Prominent writers with this point of view included poets Henry Timrod Daniel B Lucas and Abram Joseph Ryan and fiction writer Thomas Nelson Page Others like African American writer Charles W Chesnutt dismissed this nostalgia by pointing out where the racism and exploitation of blacks that happened during this time period in the South in 1856 George Tucker completed his final multivolume work in his History of the United States From Their Colonization to the End of the 26th Congress in 1841 In 1884 Mark Twain published what is arguably the most influential Southern novel of the 19th century Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Ernest Hemingway said of the novel All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn This statement applies even more to Southern literature because of the novel s frank dealings with issues such as race and violence Kate Chopin was another central figure in post Civil War Southern literature Focusing her writing largely on the French Creole communities of Louisiana Chopin established her literary reputation with the short story collections Bayou Folk 1894 and A Night in Acadie 1897 These stories offered not only a sociological portrait of a specific Southern culture but also furthered the legacy of the American short story as a uniquely vital and complex narrative genre But it was with the publication of her second and final novel The Awakening 1899 that she gained notoriety of a different sort The novel shocked audiences with its frank and unsentimental portrayal of female sexuality and psychology It paved the way for the Southern novel as both a serious genre based in the realism that had dominated the Western novel since Balzac and one that tackled the complex and untidy emotional lives of its characters Today she is widely regarded as not only one of the most important female writers in American literature but one of the most important chroniclers of the post Civil War South and one of the first writers to treat the female experience with complexity and without condescension During the first half of the 20th century the lawyer politician minister orator actor and author Thomas Dixon Jr wrote a number of novels plays sermons and non fiction pieces which were very popular with the general public all over the USA Dixon s greatest fame came from a trilogy of novels about Reconstruction one of which was entitled The Clansman 1905 a book and then a wildly successful play which would eventually become the inspiration for D W Griffith s highly controversial 1915 film The Birth of a Nation Overall Dixon wrote 22 novels numerous plays and film scripts 12 Christian sermons and some non fiction works The Southern Renaissance Edit Main article Southern Renaissance In the 1920s and 1930s a renaissance in Southern literature began with the appearance of writers such as William Faulkner Katherine Anne Porter Caroline Gordon Allen Tate Thomas Wolfe Robert Penn Warren and Tennessee Williams among others Because of the distance the Southern Renaissance authors had from the American Civil War and slavery they were more objective in their writings about the South During the 1920s Southern poetry thrived under the Vanderbilt Fugitives In nonfiction H L Mencken s popularity increased nationwide as he shocked and astounded readers with his satiric writing highlighting the inability of the South to produce anything of cultural value In reaction to Mencken s essay The Sahara of the Bozart the Southern Agrarians also based mostly around Vanderbilt called for a return to the South s agrarian past and bemoaned the rise of Southern industrialism and urbanization They noted that creativity and industrialism were not compatible and desired the return to a lifestyle that would afford the Southerner leisure a quality the Agrarians most felt conducive to creativity Writers like Faulkner who won the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1949 also brought new techniques such as stream of consciousness and complex narrative techniques to their writings For instance his novel As I Lay Dying is told by changing narrators ranging from the deceased Addie to her young son The late 1930s also saw the publication of one of the best known Southern novels Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell The novel published in 1936 quickly became a bestseller It won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize and in 1939 an equally famous movie of the novel premiered In the eyes of some modern scholars Mitchell s novel consolidated white supremacist Lost Cause ideologies see Lost Cause of the Confederacy to construct a bucolic plantation South in which slavery was a benign or even benevolent institution Under this view she presents white southerners as victims of a rapacious Northern industrial capitalism and depicts black southerners as either lazy stupid and over sexualized or as docile childlike and resolutely loyal to their white masters Southern literature has always drawn audiences outside the South and outside the United States and Gone with the Wind has continued to popularize harmful stereotypes of southern history and culture for audiences around the world 13 Despite this criticism Gone with the Wind has enjoyed an enduring legacy as the most popular American novel ever written an incredible achievement for a female writer Since publication Gone with the Wind has become a staple in many Southern homes Post World War II Southern literature Edit Southern literature following the Second World War grew thematically as it embraced the social and cultural changes in the South resulting from the Civil Rights Movement In addition more female and African American writers began to be accepted as part of Southern literature including African Americans such as Zora Neale Hurston and Sterling Allen Brown along with women such as Eudora Welty Flannery O Connor Ellen Glasgow Carson McCullers Katherine Anne Porter and Shirley Ann Grau among many others Other well known Southern writers of this period include Reynolds Price James Dickey William Price Fox Davis Grubb Walker Percy and William Styron One of the most highly praised Southern novels of the 20th century To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize when it was published in 1960 New Orleans native and Harper Lee s friend Truman Capote also found great success in the middle 20th century with Breakfast at Tiffany s and later In Cold Blood Another famous novel of the 1960s is A Confederacy of Dunces written by New Orleans native John Kennedy Toole in the 1960s but not published until 1980 It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981 and has since become a cult classic Southern poetry bloomed in the decades following the Second World War in large part thanks to the writing and efforts of Robert Penn Warren and James Dickey Where earlier work primarily championed a white agrarian past the efforts of such poets as Dave Smith Charles Wright Ellen Bryant Voigt Yusef Komunyakaa Jim Seay Frank Stanford Kate Daniels James Applewhite Betty Adcock Rodney Jones and former U S Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey have opened up the subject matter and form of Southern poetry 14 Contemporary Southern literature EditToday in the early twenty first century the American South is undergoing a number of cultural and social changes including rapid industrialization deindustrialization climate change and an influx of immigrants As a result the exact definition of what constitutes Southern literature is changing While some critics specify that the previous definitions of Southern literature still hold with some of them suggesting only somewhat in jest that all Southern literature must still contain a dead mule within its pages most scholars of the twenty first century South highlight the proliferation of depictions of Souths urban undead queer activist televisual cinematic and particularly multiethnic particularly Latinos Native American and African American 15 16 17 18 19 Not only do these critics argue that the very fabric of the South has changed so much that the old assumptions about southern literature no longer hold but they argue that the U S South has always been a construct 20 Selected journals EditThis list is incomplete you can help by adding missing items August 2008 Black Warrior Review Published by University of Alabama Georgia Review Published by University of Georgia Gulf Coast A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts Published at the University of Houston Jabberwock Review published by Mississippi State University Southern Literary Journal and Monthly Magazine 1835 1837 Sewanee Review America s oldest continuously published literary quarterly published at the University of the South Southern Literary Journal 1964 present Mississippi Quarterly A refereed scholarly journal dedicated to the life and culture of the American South past and present 1 The Oxford American A quarterly journal of fiction nonfiction poetry photography and music from and about the South The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature 1996 present Monthly journal features poetry creative non fiction essays and short fiction The Southern Review The famous literary journal focusing on southern literature storySouth A journal of new writings from the American South Features fiction poetry nonfiction and more Southern Cultures Journal from the Center for the Study of the American South Southern Spaces Peer Reviewed Internet journal examining the spaces and places of the American South South Today Published by Lillian Smith Ceased in 1946 Notable works EditAround 2000 the James Agee Film Project conducted a poll of book editors publishers scholars and reviewers asking which of the thousands of Southern prose works published during the past century should be considered the most remarkable works of modern Southern Literature Results of the poll yielded the following titles 21 Title Author YearInvisible Man Ralph Ellison 1952Let Us Now Praise Famous Men James Agee 1941The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner 1929Mind of the South Wilbur Cash 1929Look Homeward Angel Thomas Wolfe 1929To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee 1960The Color Purple Alice Walker 1982Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston 1937Absalom Absalom William Faulkner 1936Lanterns on the Levee William Alexander Percy 1941All the King s Men Robert Penn Warren 1946Collected Stories Eudora Welty 1980Civil War A Narrative Shelby Foote 1958 1974Moviegoer Walker Percy 1961Tobacco Road Erskine Caldwell 1932Black Boy Richard Wright 1945Cane Jean Toomer 1923Native Son Richard Wright 1940As I Lay Dying William Faulkner 1930Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell 1936Up from Slavery Booker T Washington 1901Last Gentleman Walker Percy 1966Complete Stories Flannery O Connor 1971Collected Stories Katherine Anne Porter 1965Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Ernest J Gaines 1971See also EditLiterature of Southern states Alabama Arkansas Florida Georgia Kentucky Louisiana Maryland Mississippi North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Texas Virginia West Virginia American literary regionalism Southern Gothic Fellowship of Southern Writers African American literatureReferences Edit a b Patricia Evans Southern Literature Women Writers Archived 2000 03 03 at archive today Accessed Feb 4 2007 David Williamson UNC CH surveys reveal where the real South lies Retrieved 22 Feb 2007 https web archive org web 20200411131545 http www pfly net misc GeographicMorphology jpg Archived from the original on 2020 04 11 Retrieved 2007 03 18 Missing or empty title help a b c name Jon Smith and Deborah Cohn Look Away The U S South in New World Studies Joseph M Flora amp Lucinda H MacKethan eds The Companion to Southern Literature Themes Genres Places People Movements and Motifs Louisiana State University Press 2001 These are the states as listed in this study a b Greeson Jennifer Our South Geographic Fantasy and the Rise of National Literature Harvard University Press 1971 Wells Jeremy 2011 Romances of the white man s burden race empire and the plantation in American literature 1880 1936 Nashville Vanderbilt University Press ISBN 9780826517562 OCLC 709606332 CS1 maint numeric names authors list link Kate Cochran Review of Robert Brinkmeyer Jr Remapping Southern Literature Contemporary Southern Writers and the West University of Georgia Press 2000 Hobson 1999 Michal Choinski Southern Hyperboles Metafigurative Strategies of Narration Louisiana State University Press 2020 McLean Robert C George Tucker Moral Philosopher and Man of Letters University of North Carolina Press 1961 Thomas Dixon Jr New approaches to Gone with the wind Crank James A Baton Rouge 14 December 2015 ISBN 9780807161586 OCLC 908373767 CS1 maint others link Suarez 1999 Mills 2000 1971 Bibler Michael P 2009 Cotton s queer relations same sex intimacy and the literature of the southern plantation 1936 1968 Charlottesville University of Virginia Press ISBN 9780813927923 OCLC 753978357 CS1 maint numeric names authors list link Anderson Eric Gary Hagood Taylor Turner Daniel Cross 2015 10 19 Undead souths the gothic and beyond in southern literature and culture Anderson Eric Gary 1960 Hagood Taylor 1975 Turner Daniel Cross Baton Rouge ISBN 9780807161074 OCLC 922529577 Small screen Souths Region Identity and the Cultural Politics of Television Hinrichsen Lisa Caison Gina Rountree Stephanie Louisiana State Univ Pr 2017 ISBN 9780807167144 OCLC 974698560 CS1 maint others link American cinema and the southern imaginary Barker Deborah 1956 McKee Kathryn B Athens University of Georgia Press 2011 ISBN 9780820337104 OCLC 706078532 CS1 maint others link Scott Romine 2014 01 06 The real South southern narrative in the age of cultural reproduction Louisiana paperback ed Baton Rouge ISBN 9780807156384 OCLC 907252927 125 Great Southern Books Riverdale MD Agee Films Retrieved March 12 2017 Bibliography EditLouise Manly 1895 Southern Literature from 1579 1895 Richmond B F Johnson Publishing Company via Project Gutenberg published in 20th c Edit Edwin Anderson Alderman Joel Chandler Harris Charles William Kent eds Library of Southern Literature Atlanta Martin and Hoyt Company via HathiTrust 1909 1913 16 volumes Montrose Jonas Moses 1910 Literature of the South New York Thomas Y Crowell Co Beatty Richmond C Watkins Floyd C Young Thomas Daniel eds 1952 The Literature of the South Glenview Illinois Scott Foresman and Company Parks Edd Winfield 1962 Ante Bellum Southern Literary Critics Athens GA University of Georgia Press Marion Montgomery The Sense of Violation Notes toward a Definition of Southern Fiction The Georgia Review 19 1965 Holman C Hugh 1966 Three Modes of Modern Southern Fiction Ellen Glasgow William Faulkner Thomas Wolfe Athens Georgia University of Georgia Press OCLC 859825215 Holman C Hugh Rubin Louis D Jr Sullivan Walter 1969 Southern Fiction Renaissance and Beyond Athens Georgia University of Georgia Press OCLC 489993640 Flannery O Connor Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction in Mystery and Manners ed Sally and Robert Fitzgerald Farrar Straus and Giroux 1969 Davis Richard Beale Holman C Hugh Rubin Louis D Jr 1970 Southern Writing 1585 1920 New York Odyssey Press OCLC 907422022 Holman C Hugh 1972 The Roots of Southern Writing Athens Georgia University of Georgia Press ISBN 9780820302904 Holman C Hugh Rubin Louis D Jr 1975 Southern Literary Study Promise and Possibilities Holman C Hugh 1977 The Immoderate Past The Southern Writer and History Michael O Brien 1979 The Idea of the American South 1920 1941 Johns Hopkins University Press ISBN 978 0801840173 Charles Reagan Wilson William Ferris eds 1989 Encyclopedia of Southern Culture University of North Carolina Press ISBN 0807818232 Fulltext articles via the university s Documenting the American South website Beginnings of Southern Literature Antebellum Era Autobiography Biography Black Literature Civil War in Literature Folklore in Literature Humor in Literature Local Color Era Regionalism and Local Color Travel Writing The History of Southern Literature by Louis Rubin Louisiana State University Press 1991 Louis D Rubin Jr From Combray to Ithaca or The Southernness of Southern Literature in The Mockingbird in the Gum Tree Louisiana State University Press 1991 Veronica Makowsky 1996 Walker Percy and Southern Literature Explores the overall issues surrounding what makes for southern literature Michael Kreyling 1998 Inventing Southern Literature University Press of Mississippi ISBN 978 1 60473 776 9 Fred Hobson 1999 But Now I See The White Southern Racial Conversion Narrative Louisiana State University Press ISBN 978 0 8071 4078 9 Ronald Lora William Henry Longton eds 1999 Southern Reviews 1828 1880 Conservative Press in Eighteenth and Nineteenth century America Greenwood pp 147 282 ISBN 978 0 313 31043 0 Ernest Suarez 1999 Southbound Interviews with Southern Poets University of Missouri Press ISBN 978 0 8262 6168 7 Richard J Gray 2000 Southern Aberrations Writers of the American South and the Problem of Regionalism Louisiana State University Press ISBN 978 0 8071 2552 6 Jerry Leath Mills 2000 The Dead Mule Rides Again Southern Culture 6 4 Explanation of what constitutes good southern writing Patricia Yeager 2000 Dirt and Desire Reconstructing Southern Women s Writing 1930 1990 University of Chicago Press ISBN 978 0226944913 published in 21st c Edit Houston A Baker 2001 Turning South Again Re Thinking Modernism Re Reading Booker T Duke University Press ISBN 978 0822326953 Joseph M Flora Lucinda Hardwick MacKethan eds 2001 Companion to Southern Literature Themes Genres Places People Movements and Motifs Louisiana State University Press ISBN 978 0 8071 2692 9 Where is the South in Today s Southern Literature Article exploring 2002 changes in southern literature The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy Third Edition What Every American Needs to Know Edited by James Trefil Joseph F Kett and E D Hirsch Houghton Mifflin 2002 Carolyn Perry Mary Louise Weaks eds 2002 History of Southern Women s Literature Louisiana State University Press ISBN 978 0 8071 2753 7 Suzanne W Jones Sharon Monteith eds 2002 South to A New Place Region Literature Culture Southern Literary Studies Louisiana State University Press ISBN 978 0 8071 2840 4 Tara McPherson 2003 Reconstructing Dixie Race Gender and Nostalgia in the Imagined South Duke University Press ISBN 978 0822330400 Genres of Southern Literature by Lucinda MacKethan Southern Spaces Feb 2004 Jon Smith Deborah Cohn eds 2004 Look Away The U S South in New World Studies Duke University Press ISBN 978 0822333166 Leigh Anne Duck 2006 The Nation s Region Southern Modernism Segregation and U S Nationalism University of Georgia Press ISBN 978 0820334189 Riche Richardson 2007 Black Masculinity and the U S South From Uncle Tom to Gangsta University of Georgia Press ISBN 978 0820328904 Anderson Eric Gary On Native Ground Indigenous Presences and Countercolonial Strategies in Southern Narratives of Captivity Removal and Repossession Southern Spaces August 9 2007 Leigh Anne Duck July 2008 Southern Nonidentity Safundi The Journal of South African and American Studies 9 3 319 330 Harilaos Stecopoulos 2008 Reconstructing the World Southern Fictions and U S Imperialisms 1898 1976 Cornell University Press ISBN 978 0801475023 M Thomas Inge ed 2008 Literature New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture 9 University of North Carolina Press ISBN 9781469616643 OCLC 910189354 Scott Romine 2008 The Real South Southern Narrative in the Age of Cultural Reproduction Louisiana State University Press ISBN 978 0807156384 Jennifer Rae Greeson 2010 Our South Geographic Fantasy and the Rise of National Literature Harvard University Press ISBN 978 0674024281 Thadious M Davis 2011 Southscapes Geographies of Race Region and Literature University of North Carolina Press ISBN 978 0807835210 Deborah Barker Kathryn McKee eds 2011 American Cinema and the Southern Imaginary University of Georgia Press ISBN 978 0820337104 Jonathan Daniel Wells 2011 Women Writers and Journalists in the Nineteenth Century South Cambridge University Press ISBN 978 1 139 50349 5 Melanie Benson Taylor 2012 Reconstructing the Native South American Indian Literature and the Lost Cause University of Georgia Press ISBN 978 0820338842 Jay Watson 2012 Reading for the Body The Recalcitrant Materiality of Southern Fiction 1893 1985 University of Georgia Press ISBN 978 0820343389 Richard Gray 2012 Regionalism in the South A History of American Literature 2nd ed John Wiley amp Sons ISBN 978 1 4443 4568 1 Keith Cartwright 2013 Sacral Grooves Limbo Gateways Travels in Deep Southern Time Circum Caribbean Space Afro Creole Authority University of Georgia Press ISBN 978 0820345994 Matthew Pratt Guterl 2013 American Mediterranean Southern Slaveholders in the Age of Emancipation Harvard University Press ISBN 978 0674072282 Claudia Milian 2013 Latining America Black Brown Passages and the Coloring of Latino a Studies University of Georgia Press ISBN 978 0820344362 Jon Smith 2013 Finding Purple America The South and the Future of American Cultural Studies University of Georgia Press ISBN 978 0820345260 Jason Phillips ed 2013 Storytelling History and the Postmodern South Louisiana State University Press ISBN 978 0 8071 5035 1 David A Davis Tara Powell eds 2014 Writing in the Kitchen Essays on Southern Literature and Foodways University Press of Mississippi ISBN 978 1 62674 210 9 Eric Gary Anderson Taylor Hagood Daniel Cross Turner eds 2015 Undead Souths The Gothic and Beyond in Southern Literature and Culture Louisiana State University Press ISBN 978 0807161074 Martyn Bone Brian Ward William A Link eds 2015 Creating and Consuming the American South University Press of Florida ISBN 978 0813060699 Fred Hobson Barbara Ladd eds 2016 Oxford Handbook of the Literature of the U S South Oxford University Press ISBN 978 0 19 049394 3 Susan Castillo Street Charles L Crow eds 2016 Palgrave Handbook of the Southern Gothic Springer ISBN 978 1 137 47774 3 Jennifer Rae Greeson Scott Romine eds 2016 Keywords for Southern Studies University of Georgia Press ISBN 978 0820349626 External links EditLibrary of Southern Literature University of North Carolina American Southern literature pre 1929 The Center for Southern Literature Writers A Checklist of Scholarship on Southern Literature Archived from the original on December 6 2008 A checklist of scholarship on writers associated with the American South directory arranged by period colonial contemporary etc Sponsored by Mississippi Quarterly Ceased publication Southern Poetry from Holman Prison Death Row Inmate Darrell Grayson Poets in Place at Southern Spaces Society for the Study of Southern Literature Organization founded in 1968 devoted to scholarship on writings and writers of the American South History of Southern Literature online publishing Since 1995 the American South has relied on the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature for quality fiction poetry and more Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Southern United States literature amp oldid 1051816737, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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