Southwestern Humor Criticism: Other Major Figures - Essay

Eugene Current-Garcia (essay date April 1956)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Current-Garcia, Eugene. “Thomas Bangs Thorpe and the Literature of the Ante-Bellum Southwestern Frontier.” Louisiana Historical Quarterly 39, no. 2 (April 1956): 199-222.

[In the following essay, Current-Garcia views Thomas Bangs Thorpe as a seminal contributor to the tradition of Southwestern humor literature and chronicles his career as an editor.]

In January, 1845, the firm of Carey & Hart of Philadelphia published a small volume of sketches entitled The Mysteries of the Backwoods.1 Dedicating his work to the American sculptor Hiram Powers, the author stated his purpose in a modest preface, which began as follows:


(The entire section is 8887 words.)

Robert Hopkins (essay date fall 1963)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Hopkins, Robert. “Simon Suggs: A Burlesque Campaign Biography.” American Quarterly 15, no. 3 (fall 1963): 459-63.

[In the following essay, Hopkins maintains that Johnson Jones Hooper's Some Adventures of Simon Suggs should be read as a burlesque of a campaign biography.]

While it is generally recognized that Johnson Hooper's Some Adventures of Simon Suggs (1845) is written in the form of a campaign biography, no critic has yet recognized that the work is a burlesque of campaign biographies. This elementary distinction, however, is of some importance; for as in most great works of satire, the structure of Simon Suggs becomes...

(The entire section is 1808 words.)

Tommy W. Rogers (essay date spring 1969)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Rogers, Tommy W. “Joseph B. Cobb: Antebellum Humorist and Critic.” Mississippi Quarterly 22, no. 2 (spring 1969): 131-46.

[In the following essay, Rogers favorably assesses the contribution of Southwestern humorist Joseph B. Cobb.]

Although Joseph B. Cobb is largely unknown today, at least one observer has evaluated him as one of the few antebellum Southern planters who wrote anything that properly belongs to literature.1 George T. Buckley, on discovering Cobb's Leisure Labors, was so impressed with the “range of learning and sound scholarship displayed on almost every page” that he felt this uncatalogued Mississippian “ought not to...

(The entire section is 5743 words.)

James A. Shackford and Stanley J. Folmsbee (essay date 1973)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Shackford, James A., and Stanley J. Folmsbee. Introduction to The Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee, by David Crockett, pp. ix-xx. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1973.

[In the following essay, Shackford and Folmsbee trace the growth of the Davy Crockett legend, contending that behind the myth lies “an authentic folk hero.”]

A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett is an important document in three major areas of American culture. As a literary work, it is one of the earliest autobiographies to be published, only a decade and a half after the virtually complete version of the first of all, Benjamin...

(The entire section is 6651 words.)

Keith Newlin (essay date winter 1987-88)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Newlin, Keith. “Georgia Scenes: The Satiric Artistry of Augustus Baldwin Longstreet.” Mississippi Quarterly 41, no. 1 (winter 1987-88): 21-37.

[In the following essay, Newlin assesses Augustus Baldwin Longstreet's contribution to Southwestern humor and demonstrates an appreciation for the range of sketches published in Georgia Scenes.]

In the preface to Georgia Scenes, Augustus Baldwin Longstreet notes that he has “used some little art in order to recommend [Georgia Scenes] to the readers of my own times.”1 Yet this collection of sketches has had to wait until the 1980s to receive any real appreciation of its artistry. In...

(The entire section is 5644 words.)

William E. Lenz (essay date fall 1993)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Lenz, William E. “The Function of Women in Old Southwestern Humor: Re-reading Porter's Big Bear and Quarter Race Collections.” Mississippi Quarterly 46, no. 4 (fall 1993): 589-600.

[In the following essay, Lenz investigates the role of women in Southwestern humor stories through a reading of William T. Porter's anthologies The Big Bear of Arkansas and A Quarter Race in Kentucky.]

Old Southwestern Humor flourished from approximately 1830 to 1860 in local papers such as the La Fayette East Alabamian, in widely read regional publications such as the New Orleans Picayune, and in that national clearinghouse for frontier...

(The entire section is 4823 words.)