Regionalism and Local Color in Short Fiction Criticism: Overviews And General Studies - Essay

Elias Lieberman (essay date 1912)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Lieberman, Elias. “The Point of Contact Between the Short Story and Locality,” and “Locality as a Factor.” In The American Short Story: A Study of the Influence of Locality in its Development, pp. 14-23, 158-68. Ridgewood, NJ: The Editor Company, 1912.

[In the following essay, Lieberman underscores the importance of setting to the overall effect of a short story, asserting that location is “the most typically American” element.]

Now that we have considered the forces that determine localities and types of men and women we are prepared to go a step further. What is the point of contact between the locality and the short story as an art form? Is the...

(The entire section is 4684 words.)

Edward J. O'Brien (essay date 1923)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: O'Brien, Edward J. “The Early Regionalists.” In The Advance of the American Short Story, pp. 151-75. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1923.

[In the following essay, O'Brien provides an overview of major authors and major works of regional fiction in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.]

We have seen in our study of Bret Harte how largely his great popular success was due to the fact that he introduced to Eastern readers a new pioneer life full of color and romantically strange. It is not surprising that his success, together with the newly awakened national consciousness of our people after the Civil War, prompted many writers to seek the...

(The entire section is 5253 words.)

Arthur Voss (essay date 1973)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Voss, Arthur. “Local Color and Western Humor,” and “The Regional Story in New England, the South, and the Middle West.” In The American Short Story: A Critical Survey, pp. 70-113. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1973.

[In the following essay, Voss provides an overview of regional and local color stories set in the West, East, South, and Midwest.]

Although Washington Irving gave “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and some of his other tales with American settings a pronounced regional flavor, there were only a few other writers before the Civil War who, in anything more than incidental fashion, followed him in his primary concern with depicting...

(The entire section is 13040 words.)

Marjorie Pryse (essay date 1997)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Pryse, Marjorie. “Origins of American Literary Regionalism: Gender in Irving, Stowe, and Longstreet.” In Breaking Boundaries: New Perspectives on Women's Regional Writing, edited by Sherrie A. Inness and Diana Royer, pp. 17-37. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1997.

[In the following essay, Pryse traces the origins of regional literature in the United States to the stories of Washington Irving, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Augustus Baldwin Longstreet.]

Any attempt to construct a narrative of the origins of regionalism must begin by acknowledging the problematic status of such an attempt in a critical climate where both “origins” and “regionalism”...

(The entire section is 9935 words.)

Janet Gebhart Auten (essay date 2001)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Auten, Janet Gebhart. “Parental Guidance: Disciplinary Intimacy and the Rise of Women's Regionalism.” In “The Only Efficient Instrument”: American Women Writers and the Periodical, 1837-1916, edited by Aleta Feinsod Cane and Susan Alves, pp. 66-77. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2001.

[In the following essay, Auten examines ideological tensions between the female authors of regional and local color stories in the nineteenth century and the editors of magazines in which these stories were published.]

Women writers made a place for themselves in antebellum periodicals by conforming: they both complied with the judgments of editors and publishers and...

(The entire section is 4777 words.)