By David Marion Holman
In a definite Slant of sunshine, David Marion Holman examines prolific nearby American literatures - these of the South and the Midwest - from approximately 1832 to 1925. through targeting the function historical past 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 till 1910, Holman says, the fiction of the 2 areas used to be characterised by way of very varied modes - romance within the South and social realism within the Midwest. For the southerner, the prior was once the plantation, the aristocrat, and the Civil struggle. Even in writing in regards to the current, the southern author, Holman keeps, needed to confront, at once or not directly, the ghosts of the earlier - ghosts that may be exorcised, vilified, or romanticized, yet by no means missed. For the midwestern author, the previous was once the pioneer and the settling of the frontier - a earlier of promise unfulfilled and unattained. The midwestern fable instantly glorified the typical guy because the promise of the United States and deplored him as venal and narrow-minded. through 1925 modernism had turn into an enormous strength in American letters, offering the subsequent iteration of writers - might be most sensible represented through Hemingway within the Midwest and Faulkner within the South - with new methods of confronting outdated ideologies, and those writers synthesized the various premises of romance and realism.
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Extra resources for A Certain Slant of Light: Regionalism and the Form of Southern and Midwestern Fiction
A certain slant of light: regionalism and the form of southern and midwestern fiction / David Marion Holman. cm. (Southern literary series) Includes bibliographical references and index. American fictionSouthern StatesHistory and criticism. American fictionMiddle WestHistory and criticism. Series. 009'975dc20 95-38271 CIP The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources.
E. Rölvaag's Giants in the Earth, the midwesterner comes out of the East, the world's melting pot, looking for something better, and finds it in the land that blossoms from the sweat of his brow. Here are the true people of Carl Sandburg's The People, Yes; here is America, the bastion of democratic values, the Heartland, the home of simple, moral folk. This is the myththe Kansas of The Wizard of Oz. These are the facts: by 1850, 70 percent of the Midwest's population lived in towns or cities larger than fifteen hundred people.
A second reason for selecting the South and the Midwest for this study is that, largely because of the Civil War, the South is the section most easily defined and accepted by the nation as region, whereas the Midwest is the region that defines itself most as nation and is accepted as such by other regions of the country. " Even today the southerner is recognizable nationally by accent and by vernacular; the South is still the most rural region of the country. The Midwest also has less identification with specific historical events such as the Civil War, the founding of the Plymouth Colony, or the Gold Rush than do other sections of the country.