Cover

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Front Matter

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Any project that takes as long as this one to come to fruition is bound to incur a multitude of intellectual and personal debts along the way. I’m delighted to be able to acknowledge . . .

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Introduction. Recalcitrant Materialities

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pp. 1-27

Early in 1923, Jean Toomer published a three- part poem, a triptych of sorts titled “Georgia Portraits,” in the inaugural issue of a little magazine called Modern Review. This material resurfaced in the book Toomer would . . .

Part One. Bodily Attributes

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One. Manual Discourse: A Problem in Mark Twain’s America

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pp. 31-86

In 1903 the practice of personal identification began a paradigm shift in America. It started with the arrival of a new inmate, Will West, at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. In processing West, the prison’s . . .

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Two. Listening for Zora: Voice, Body, and the Mediat(iz)ed Modernism of Jonah’s Gourd Vine and Moses, Man of the Mountain

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pp. 87-134

Even as it exposes the futility of nineteenth- century efforts to read identity from the body through visual inspection—of hands, skin, finger marks, and other physical indices—Pudd’nhead Wilson flirts with the possibility that . . .

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Three. Writing Blood: The Art of the Literal in William Faulkner’s Light in August

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pp. 135-156

For its August 1995 issue, the alternative music magazine Spin sent a correspondent, appropriately named Eurydice, to San Francisco to explore an emerging sexual subculture, an off shoot of the S/M scene whose . . .

Part Two. Embodied Experiences

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Four. Richard Wright’s Parables of Pain: Uncle Tom’s Children and the Making and Unmaking of a Southern Black World

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pp. 159-215

A century ago, W. E. B. Du Bois took the historical, cultural, and ontological predicament of African American sorrow and made it the basis of a theory of black soul. This theory, which drew in roughly equal parts on the . . .

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Five. Difficult Embodiment: Coming of Age in Katherine Anne Porter’s Miranda Stories

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pp. 216-261

Katherine Anne Porter’s “Miranda stories”—“The Old Order,” “Old Mortality,” and “Pale Horse, Pale Rider”—trace the coming of age of three generations of southern women in and against a turn- of-the- century plantation . . .

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Six. Reading War on the Body: The Example of Bobbie Ann Mason’s In Country

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pp. 262-304

When the subject is war, who has the knowledge, the authority—the right— to speak? Few questions can carry more civic, political, and moral urgency in an age such as ours, when war has come to threaten not just individual . . .

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Coda. Overreading (for) the Body: Walker Percy’s Cautionary Tale

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pp. 305-319

This book began with a rousing call for a body- oriented, materially grounded approach to the too- often idealized and over- intellectualized fi eld of southern literary studies. The next six chapters, drawing on roughly a century of . . .

Notes

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pp. 321-364

Works Cited

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pp. 365-398

Index

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pp. 399-412