By David Marion Holman

In a undeniable Slant of sunshine, David Marion Holman examines prolific nearby American literatures - these of the South and the Midwest - from approximately 1832 to 1925. via concentrating on the function heritage performed within the imaginations of chosen writers of that interval, he seeks to respond to a perennial query: what's "midwestern" approximately midwestern literature, and what's "southern" approximately southern literature? no less than until eventually 1910, Holman says, the fiction of the 2 areas was once characterised through very various modes - romance within the South and social realism within the Midwest. For the southerner, the prior used to be the plantation, the aristocrat, and the Civil struggle. Even in writing concerning the current, the southern author, Holman keeps, needed to confront, at once or ultimately, the ghosts of the previous - ghosts which may be exorcised, vilified, or romanticized, yet by no means missed. For the midwestern author, the prior used to be the pioneer and the settling of the frontier - a prior of promise unfulfilled and unattained. The midwestern fantasy 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 immense strength in American letters, offering the subsequent new release of writers - possibly top represented through Hemingway within the Midwest and Faulkner within the South - with new methods of confronting outdated ideologies, and those writers synthesized a few of the premises of romance and realism.

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Additional resources for A Certain Slant of Light: Regionalism and the Form of Southern and Midwestern Fiction

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21. Allen Tate, "Ode to the Confederate Dead," in Collected Poems, 19191976 (New York, 1977), 21. 22. D. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1980). Page 21 ingblack humor, the grotesque. " Both southerner and midwesterner confront a modern America that is bleak in comparison with their historical pasts. But the definition of that disparity between past and present is different for each region. For the inheritor of the pioneer legacy, the world is now too confining, too organized, too conformist.

Garland, "New Fields," in Crumbling Idols, 26. 13. Donald Davidson, "Regionalism and Nationalism," in "Still Rebels, Still Yankees" and Other Essays (Baton Rouge, 1957), 27071, 277. Page 14 about the region, but with an awareness gained through experience of what the region really means. The region is not merely geographical setting, but rather a nexus of values, beliefs, and customs that make it a special location for the fiction. "When we talk about a writer's country," Flannery O'Connor remarks, we are liable to forget that no matter what particular country it is, it is inside as well as outside of him.

For Howard Odum, however, the terms become a political vocabulary; the advocate of regionalism is a nationalist, the advocate of sectionalism a separatist: Herein lies the essential quality of sectionalism; inherent in it is the idea of separatism and isolation; of separate units with separate interests. It must be clear that, since the very definition of regionalism implies a unifying function, it must be different from sectionalism as everywhere defined by historians. Here the distinctions are clear between the divisive power of self-seeking sections and the integrating power of co-ordinate regions fabricated into a united whole.

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