By David Marion Holman
In a definite Slant of sunshine, David Marion Holman examines prolific neighborhood American literatures - these of the South and the Midwest - from approximately 1832 to 1925. through targeting the function background performed within the imaginations of chosen writers of that interval, he seeks to reply to a perennial query: what's "midwestern" approximately midwestern literature, and what's "southern" approximately southern literature? not less than until eventually 1910, Holman says, the fiction of the 2 areas was once characterised through very various modes - romance within the South and social realism within the Midwest. For the southerner, the previous was once the plantation, the aristocrat, and the Civil conflict. Even in writing concerning the current, the southern author, Holman keeps, needed to confront, at once or in a roundabout way, the ghosts of the previous - ghosts which may be exorcised, vilified, or romanticized, yet by no means neglected. For the midwestern author, the earlier was once the pioneer and the settling of the frontier - a prior of promise unfulfilled and unattained. The midwestern fable instantly glorified the typical guy because the promise of the USA and deplored him as venal and narrow-minded. by means of 1925 modernism had develop into a tremendous strength in American letters, offering the subsequent iteration of writers - might be top represented via Hemingway within the Midwest and Faulkner within the South - with new methods of confronting outdated ideologies, and those writers synthesized a number of the premises of romance and realism.
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Additional info for A Certain Slant of Light: Regionalism and the Form of Southern and Midwestern Fiction
Flannery O'Connor, "The Fiction Writer & His Country," in Mystery and Manners, ed. Sally Fitzgerald and Robert Fitzgerald (New York, 1969), 3435. " The rationale behind this feeling is clear; one wants to be a large fish in the largest possible pond. Just as Ralph Ellison balked at being labeled one of the best black authors, so William Faulkner would have been nonplussed at being pronounced "one of the best Mississippi writers," or best southern writers, for that matter. Regional is often the faint praise that damns.
Jane Johnson (1894; rpr. , 1960), 10. "12 Taken together, Tate's and Garland's differing definitions of provincialism illustrate the dilemma of many American writers. They are writing about two worlds, two countries, two culturesthat of region and that of nation. And the worlds are different, but not separate; each partakes of both. The writer must find the relationship between these worlds and the themes of his story, as, for example, Faulkner does topically in The Town, in which the regional social problems of modernization coalesce with the national experience.
Here, then, is a work by a gifted scholar, who died young. It is published in its own right, for its own sake, and also to show what manner of scholar he was and what we have lost through his too-early departure. This man would have been an ornament to his profession, a maker and finder of literary study in his chosen field. He had the gift, and he had the energy and ambition to keep at work. I have taken the liberty of Page 6 inserting a dedication page, knowing full well as I do that Dave would have placed on it precisely the names I have.