Literature of the New South Criticism: The Novel In The New South - Essay

Lewis P. Simpson (essay date 1973)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Simpson, Lewis P. “Mark Twain: The Pathos of Regeneration.” In The Man of Letters in New England and the South: Essays on the History of the Literary Vocation in America, pp. 150-66. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973.

[In the following essay, Simpson comments on the contemporary, politicized interpretation of Mark Twain as the novelist of a regenerate America.]

“What are the Great United States for, sir,” pursued the General, “if not for the regeneration of man? But it is nat'ral in you to make such an enquerry, for you come from England and you do not know my country.”

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(The entire section is 5494 words.)

Louis D. Rubin, Jr. (essay date 1975)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Rubin, Louis D. “Politics and the Novel: George W. Cable and the Genteel Tradition.” In William Elliott Shoots a Bear: Essays on the Southern Literary Imagination, pp. 61-81. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1975.

[In the following essay, Rubin examines George Washington Cable's novel John March, Southerner as it illustrates the limitations of the genteel, local color tradition that dominated Southern fiction in the last decades of the nineteenth century.]

My subject is the rather broad and, happily, permissive one of the various ways in which works of literature can be affected by, and also can affect, the politics of a time and a...

(The entire section is 6823 words.)

Michael Kreyling (essay date 1983)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Kreyling, Michael. “After the War: Romance and the Reconstruction of Southern Literature.” In Southern Literature in Transition: Heritage and Promise, edited by Philip Castille and William Osborne, pp. 111-25. Memphis: Memphis State University Press, 1983.

[In the following essay, Kreyling appraises the literary tastes of the New South in relation to three novelists: Lafcadio Hearn, Grace King, and George Washington Cable.]

The southern writer in the closing decades of the nineteenth century faced pressures at once more powerful, enticing, and subtle than had ever faced him in, for example, the furious years of the sectionalist crisis of the 1850s....

(The entire section is 5697 words.)

Miriam J. Shillingsburg (essay date 1983)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Shillingsburg, Miriam J. “The Ascent of Woman, Southern Style: Hentz, King, Chopin.” In Southern Literature in Transition: Heritage and Promise, edited by Philip Castille and William Osborne, pp. 127-40. Memphis: Memphis State University Press, 1983.

[In the following essay, Shillingsburg studies representative works by Caroline Hentz, Grace King, and Kate Chopin as they reflect women's changing views in the late nineteenth-century American South.]

When one considers the “role of woman” in nineteenth-century America, various stereotypes come to mind: the bustling New England matron, the political activist, and the plantation belle on a pedestal, to name...

(The entire section is 5181 words.)

Robert O. Stephens (essay date 1995)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Stephens, Robert O. “Genealogy of a Southern Family Saga.” In The Family Saga in the South: Generations and Destinies, pp. 14-39. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995.

[In the following essay, Stephens probes the literary precursors of George Washington Cable's novel The Grandissimes and discusses the work as the first fully-realized family saga in Southern literature.]

When George Washington Cable produced the first authentic southern family saga in 1879, his book had a long literary lineage. As a family saga, The Grandissimes had early forebears such as the English country-house poems and country-house sketches, as well as...

(The entire section is 10848 words.)

Richard Gray (essay date 2000)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Gray, Richard. “‘To Escape from the Provincial’: Ellen Glasgow, the Matter of Virginia, and the Story of the South.” In Southern Aberrations: Writers of the American South and the Problems of Regionalism, pp. 36-95. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000.

[In the following excerpt, Gray addresses historical and biographical elements at work in the early fiction of Ellen Glasgow.]

Ellen Glasgow was reluctant to think of herself as a Southern writer. She wanted, she declared, “to escape … from the provincial to the universal;” and her subject was human nature in the South, not the Southern nature. Like Poe, however, she was happy to...

(The entire section is 10236 words.)