Download E-books A Disturbing and Alien Memory: Southern Novelists Writing History (Southern Literary Studies) PDF

By Douglas L. Mitchell

In the past due 19th century, because the learn of historical past shifted from the area of letters into the social sciences, novelists within the North and the West typically became clear of writing heritage. Many southern novelists and poets, despite the fact that, persevered to adopt historic writing as an extension in their paintings shape. What made southern literary figures vary from their northern and western opposite numbers? In A stressful and Alien reminiscence, Douglas L. Mitchell addresses this interesting query through tracing a line of southern writers from the early 19th century to the mid-twentieth, discovering that an obsessive have to protect the South and the oft-noted "rage to give an explanation for" drove a few artistic writers to proceed to make forays into background and biography with a view to input a extra public sphere the place they can extra decisively impact interpretations of the earlier.

In the Romantic historical past of the 19th century, Mitchell explains, males of letters observed themselves as keepers of reminiscence whose renderings of the prior might aid form the way forward for the country. He explores the historic writing of William Gilmore Simms to track the failure of Romantic nationalism within the becoming cut up among North and South, then turns to Thomas Nelson Page's attempt to resurrect the South as a "spiritual country" with a redeemed background after the Civil conflict. Mitchell juxtaposes their paintings with that of William Wells Brown, the pioneering African American historian and novelist who used the authority of historical past to write down blacks into the yank tale.

Moving into the 20 th century, Mitchell analyzes the ancient part of the Southern Agrarian venture, concentrating on the stress among modernist aesthetics and polemical goals in Allen Tate's Civil warfare biographies. He then strains a course towards a possible historic imaginative and prescient, Robert Penn Warren's restoration of a sad realizing, and the construction of a compelling ancient artwork within the paintings of Shelby Foote. all through, Mitchell examines the strange drawback of southern writers, the altering nature of heritage and its relation to the area of letters, and the query of public authority, laying off gentle on numerous overlooked texts within the strategy -- together with Simms's The Sack and Destruction of Columbia, S.C., Brown's The Negro within the American uprising, Tate's Jefferson Davis, and Warren's John Brown.

Offering a brand new viewpoint on a perennial debate in southern letters, A demanding and Alien reminiscence offers a severe framework for a ignored style within the southern literary canon.

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