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After Appomattox : The Image of the South in Its Fiction, 1865-1900
After Appomattox The Image of the South in Its Fiction 1865-1900 Author:Gene baro (Editor) The writers of the present collection of stories ... are still of great interest as the discoverers and propounders of the present. Their efforts to understand and explain their society, to themselves and to the victorious North after Appomattox, laid the foundation for all the excellence [William Faulkner, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, e... more »tc.] that came after.
These regional writers, or local colorists, are concerned collectively with virtually every level of Southern society -- as if for the first time. In their work, reality begins to struggle with received genteel values. They are the first writers who deal critically with the myths of Southern life, subjecting them to the measure of observed truth. Even where a few of these writers face backward in time, longing for the days gone irrecoverably, they point a new direction: a belief in the past, nostalgically but not militantly held, opens the way to the ironies of the future. A knowledge of the work of the Southern regionalists is important to an understanding of our contemporary Southern literature and of the institutions and developing traditions of that society ...
These regional writers of the seventies, eighties, and nineties mark the beginning of a Southern literature that attains to national prominence (and to international prominence subsequently), not as a collection of hieratic images of interest to social diagnosticians or true believers, but as a criticism of a society in dynamic flux between past and future.
The writers presented in this collection are: James Lane Allen, Virginia Frazer Boyle, George Washington Cable, Constance Fenimore Woolson, Grace King, Sidney Lanier, Octave Thanet, Harry Stillwell Edwards, Joel Chandler Harris, Ruth McEnery Stuart, Thomas Nelson Page, Charles Egbert Craddock, F. Hopkinson Smith« less