Douglas L. Mitchell's A Disturbing and Alien Memory: Southern Novelists Writing PDF

By Douglas L. Mitchell

In the overdue 19th century, because the learn of background shifted from the area of letters into the social sciences, novelists within the North and the West commonly grew to become clear of writing heritage. Many southern novelists and poets, although, persisted to adopt ancient writing as an extension in their artwork shape. What made southern literary figures fluctuate from their northern and western opposite numbers? In A hectic and Alien reminiscence, Douglas L. Mitchell addresses this interesting query by way of tracing a line of southern writers from the early 19th century to the mid-twentieth, discovering that an obsessive have to guard the South and the oft-noted "rage to provide an explanation for" drove a few inventive writers to proceed to make forays into historical past and biography so that it will input a extra public sphere the place they can extra decisively effect 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 may aid form the way forward for the state. He explores the historic writing of William Gilmore Simms to track the failure of Romantic nationalism within the transforming into cut up among North and South, then turns to Thomas Nelson Page's attempt to resurrect the South as a "spiritual kingdom" with a redeemed heritage after the Civil warfare. Mitchell juxtaposes their paintings with that of William Wells Brown, the pioneering African American historian and novelist who used the authority of heritage to write down blacks into the yank tale.

Moving into the 20th century, Mitchell analyzes the historic portion of the Southern Agrarian undertaking, concentrating on the strain among modernist aesthetics and polemical goals in Allen Tate's Civil struggle biographies. He then lines a course towards a achievable old imaginative and prescient, Robert Penn Warren's restoration of a sad knowing, and the construction of a compelling ancient artwork within the paintings of Shelby Foote. all through, Mitchell examines the unusual problem of southern writers, the altering nature of historical past and its relation to the area of letters, and the query of public authority, laying off mild on numerous overlooked texts within the technique -- 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 hectic and Alien reminiscence offers a severe framework for a overlooked style within the southern literary canon.

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A Disturbing and Alien Memory: Southern Novelists Writing History (Southern Literary Studies) by Douglas L. Mitchell


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