Literary Criticism Reviews
After Southern Modernism Matthew Guinn details a movement/break
from the traditional form and mythology. Guinn looks at post-modernity and
its recent appearance in Southern fiction. While it has been seen
previously in architecture, art, and other forms of expression. It has
been late to appear or rather to be recognized in Southern fiction. Guinn
attempts to rectify this oversight with his expansive discussion of nine
writers. In these authors, previously marginalized persons and
perspectives are given voice.
examines Dorothy Allison and Harry Crews’ work detailing the poor South
instead of the ubiquitous pastoral, or rural South. Larry Brown and a
growing number of poor white authors bring another perspective to the
literary canon. With their strict attention to narrative and employment of
feminist and blue-collar perspectives, Kate Gibbons and Bobbie Ann Mason
further expand Southern fiction’s contemporary appeal and relevant
finds the postmodern Southern landscape ranging from the surreal and often
bleak(Cormac McCarthy), an expatriate in New Jersey, Montana or Paris
(Richard Ford). The multiplicity of voices- Southern, white, black,
homosexual, in combination, in opposition are represented in After
Southern Modernity by a discussion of the work of Randall Kenan.
Lastly Guinn studies the significance of Barry Hannah’s skeptical
approach to Southern mythology surrounding the Civil War.
provides a thorough study of the traditional, or
accepted motifs and themes in Southern literature and how these postmodern
authors have sought to expand or break from this tradition. It would serve
as an appropriate introduction to postmodern Southern fiction.
Additionally it may prove a starting point for readers searching for more
contemporary and unconventional viewpoints than those of Faulkner, Welty,
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