Literature of the New South Criticism: The Myth Of The Old South In The New - Essay

Lucinda Hardwick MacKethan (essay date 1980)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: MacKethan, Lucinda Hardwick. “The South as Arcady: Beginnings of a Mode.” In The Dream of Arcady: Place and Time in Southern Literature, pp. 1-17. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980.

[In the following introduction to her book-length study, MacKethan details the post-Reconstruction literary vision of the Old South as a pastoral paradise.]

In 1863 a fifteen-year-old printer's apprentice, living on a quiet plantation in Georgia, published a brief essay on the charms of rural life in his employer's journal, The Countryman. The boy was Joel Chandler Harris; the theme of his rather light descriptive piece was one to which he would return...

(The entire section is 6778 words.)

Lucinda Hardwick MacKethan (essay date 1985)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: MacKethan, Lucinda Hardwick. “Plantation Fiction, 1865-1900.” In The History of Southern Literature, edited by Louis D. Rubin, Jr., pp. 209-18. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985.

[In the following essay, MacKethan explores the rhetorical and structural techniques used by writers of the New South in their representation of old plantation myths.]

The literary phenomenon of the Old South, centered in the image of plantation culture, was the creation of writers pursuing careers in a very different South, dubbed “new” in economic, social, and political as well as literary structures. Thomas Nelson Page, the most durable of the post-Civil...

(The entire section is 4383 words.)

Lee Glazer and Susan Key (essay date 1996)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Glazer, Lee and Susan Key. “Carry Me Back: Nostalgia for the Old South in Nineteenth-Century Popular Culture.” Journal of American Studies 30, no. 1 (April 1996): 1-24.

[In the following essay, Glazer and Key analyze popular depictions of the Old South plantation pastoral in the late nineteenth century.]

In simple truth and beyond question there was in our Virginia country life a beauty, a simplicity, a purity and uprightness, a cordial and lavish hospitality, warmth and grace which shined in the lens of memory with a charm that passes all language at my command.

George W. Bagby, “The Old Virginia...

(The entire section is 7339 words.)

Caroline Gebhard (essay date 1997)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Gebhard, Caroline. “Reconstructing Southern Manhood: Race, Sentimentality, and Camp in the Plantation Myth.” In Haunted Bodies: Gender and Southern Texts, edited by Anne Goodwyn Jones and Susan V. Donaldson, pp. 132-55. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997.

[In the following essay, Gebhard enumerates culturally subversive qualities in otherwise sentimental representations of white Southern gentlemen in the literature of the New South.]

[Colonel Grangerford] was a gentleman all over. … His hands was long and thin, and every day of his life he put on a clean shirt and a full suit from head to foot made out of linen so...

(The entire section is 9728 words.)