Becoming Cajun, Becoming American
The Acadian in American Literature from Longfellow to James Lee Burke
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
Series: Southern Literary Studies
Cover, Title Page, Copyright
Introduction: From Acadian to American: The Paradox of Cajun American Identity
In The People Called Cajuns: An Introduction to an Ethnohistory, James Dormon describes Cajun literary representation as “America’s love for the exotic and unusual” producing “grotesque caricatures of the reality” (viii). For any study of Cajun...
1. Longfellow's Evangeline: The Origins of American Myth and Cajun Memory
In 1927, Huey P. Long visited St. Martinville, Louisiana, on his gubernatorial campaign tour. As he stood under the Evangeline Oak along the shore of Bayou Têche, he invoked the romanticism of the Evangeline myth to frame his campaign...
2. How to Become American: The Irony of George Washington Cable's Bonaventure
At a pivotal moment in George Washington Cable’s Bonaventure: A Prose Pastoral of Acadian Louisiana (1888), the title character claims, “[ I]n America you mus’ be American!” (114). Bonaventure clearly promotes English language usage...
3. The Awakening Awakened: Cajun Identity and Female Sexuality in the Fiction of Kate Chopin
Beginning in the late 1880s, Kate Chopin created a literary Louisiana abounding in class and race tensions. Focusing on the intersections of Creole, Acadian, and African American cultures, she wrote of a complex social structure...
4. Our Cajun America: Twentieth-Century Revisions of Cajun Representation
The representation of Cajuns in American literary works of the twentieth century reflects the ongoing Americanization of the people, leading to their identity as Cajun Americans. While assimilation assumes a move toward conformity...
5. The Journey Home: James Lee Burke's Parable of Cajun Assimilation
James Lee Burke has created a fictional character with international appeal who also reminds a regional people of a unique cultural past. Dave Robicheaux searches for resolution with his Cajun past in the corrupt world of south...
6. Embracing Difference: Cajuns Take the Next Step In Cajun Representation
In “Notes About Political Theater,” Tony Kushner claims that “[i]dentifying oneself . . . as Other . . . is an important political act. We take the right and the privilege of definition from the oppressor, we assume the power of naming...
Conclusion: Local Pride, Global Connections: Twenty-First-Century Cajuns
A Boulder, Colorado, restaurant advertises its Ragin’ Cajun burger; Southern Season, a Chapel Hill, North Carolina, shop, currently sells Ragin’ Cajun snack mix; and B21, a pub in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, offers a Rajun Cajun turkey sandwich...