In this Book

Inhabiting Contemporary Southern and Appalachian Literature
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summary

The idea of place--any place--remains one of our most basic yet slippery concepts. It is a space with boundaries whose limits may be definite or indefinite; it can be a real location or an abstract mental, spiritual, or imaginary construction.

Casey Clabough’s thorough examination of the importance of place in southern literature examines the works of a wide range of authors, including Fred Chappell, George Garrett, William Hoffman, Julien Green, Kelly Cherry, David Huddle, and James Dickey. Clabough expands the definition of "here" beyond mere geography, offering nuanced readings that examine tradition and nostalgia and explore the existential nature of "place."

Deeply concerned with literature as a form of emotional, intellectual, and aesthetic engagement with the local and the regional, Clabough considers the idea of place in a variety of ways: as both a physical and metaphorical location; as an important factor in shaping an individual, informing one of the ways the person perceives the world; and as a temporal as well as geographic construction.

This fresh and useful contribution to the scholarship on southern literature explains how a text can open up new worlds for readers if they pay close enough attention to place.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Quotes
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Part I. Getting (Back) There: An Introduction and a Case Study
  2. p. 1
  1. Why Read for Place? An Introduction
  2. pp. 3-24
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  1. 1. “To Blend in the Place You’re In, but with a Mind to Do Something”: The Practice of Merging in James Dickey’s To the White Sea
  2. pp. 25-47
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  1. Part II. A Matter of Context: Region and Place
  2. p. 49
  1. 2. One Writer’s Place: The South of George Garrett
  2. pp. 51-65
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  1. 3. Representing Urban Appalachia: Fred Chappell’s The Gaudy Place
  2. pp. 66-85
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  1. 4. The Truths of William Hoffman’s Southern Appalachian Places: The Critics’ and His Own
  2. pp. 86-102
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  1. 5. Southern Appalachian Montage: Reviewing Books across Regions (A Collection)
  2. pp. 103-122
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  1. Part III. Looking Closer: A State of Place
  2. p. 123
  1. 6. “Out of Space, Out of Time”: The Virginia Novels of Julien Green
  2. pp. 125-140
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  1. 7. Hanging On to Place: The Self-Reflexive Depths of Kelly Cherry’s Fiction
  2. pp. 141-154
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  1. 8. Here, There, Where: David Huddle’s Appalachian Virginia
  2. pp. 155-175
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  1. Epilogue: Writing for a Place—A Writer’s Workshop for McDowell County, West Virginia
  2. pp. 177-188
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 189-197
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 199-202
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  1. About the Author, Further Reading
  2. p. 203
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