Cover

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I have been the grateful recipient of many kinds of assistance while writing this book, including a Louisiana State University Council on . . .

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Introduction: The Problem of Flem Snopes's Hat: Southern History, Racial Paternalism, and Class

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pp. 1-15

Recent years have seen a steady flow of important scholarship in southern literary studies, work that has opened up new avenues of exploration . . .

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1 Paternalism, Progress, and “Pet Negroes” : Zora Neale Hurston’s Seraph on the Suwanee

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pp. 16-37

Zora Neale Hurston’s 1948 novel Seraph on the Suwanee follows the rise of Jim and Arvay Meserve, poor white southerners who overcome poverty . . .

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2 Playing Lady and Imitating Aristocrats: Race, Class, and Money in Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding and The Ponder Heart

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pp. 38-70

The central plot of Delta Wedding 1946), Eudora Welty’s richly textured novel of plantation life in the Mississippi Delta of the 1920s, involves the . . .

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3 Stopping on A Dime: Race, Class, and the “White Economy of Material Waste” in William Faulkner’s The Mansion and The Reivers

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pp. 71-99

In 1940, William Faulkner offered a eulogy for Caroline Barr, his family’s longtime African American retainer.1 In it, Faulkner credited Barr, to whom . . .

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4 Mechanics and Mulattoes: Class, Work, and Race in Ernest Gaines’s Of Love and Dust and “Bloodline”

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pp. 100-122

In Ernest J. Gaines’s Of Love and Dust (1967), narrator Jim Kelly relates a tale of race and class tensions on a post–World War II Louisiana . . .

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5 “Super-Negroes” and Hybrid Aristocrats: Race and Class in Walker Percy’s The Last Gentleman and Love in the Ruins

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pp. 123-159

In an essay written shortly after the publication of his first novel, The Moviegoer, Walker Percy asserted the inescapable commitment of the . . .

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Conclusion:From “Pet Negro” to “Magic Negro”: Hyperreal Paternalism

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pp. 160-167

I want to linger for a moment over Walker Percy’s wry prophecy about the golf course of the future. Extending a curve whose literary origin . . .

Notes

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pp. 169-186

Works Cited

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pp. 187-196

Index

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pp. 197-203