The Dream of Arcady
Place and Time in Southern Literature
Publication Year: 1999
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
List of Abbreviations
ONE: The South as Arcady: Beginnings of a Mode
In 1863 a fifteen-year-old printer's apprentice, living on a quiet plantation in Georgia, published a brief essay on the charms of rural life in his employer's journal, The Countryman. The boy was Joel Chandler Harris; the theme of his rather light descriptive piece was one to which ...
TWO: Sidney Lanier: The Scythe of Time, The Trowel of Trade
"So is your pastoral life whirled past and away" This was Henry David Thoreau's reaction as he watched a cattle train roar through the woods near Walden Pond. The "ear-rending" sound of the train occurs many times in Thoreau's essay, always interrupting, always disturbing the beauty and ...
THREE: Thomas Nelson Page: The Plantation as Arcady
Thomas Nelson Page, like Sidney Lanier, located Arcady in a dream of the past for which chivalry and simplicity served as cornerstones. Yet in all other respects, Lanier's pastoral landscapes seem very different from Page's. Lanier often looked to feudal England as a model environment, and ...
FOUR: Joel Chandler Harris: Speculating on the Past
Joel Chandler Harris, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, creator of Uncle Remus, and author of more than thirty books, considered himself to be a simple man. In his later years he liked to call himself "the farmer," and from the start to the finish of his remarkable literary career he ...
FIVE: Charles Chesnutt's Southern World: Portraits of a Bad Dream
Charles Chesnutt grew up in a time and place that encouraged, and actually necessitated, his cultivation of a sense of irony. As a black man who chose to write fiction during the Reconstruction era, he discovered that there was a ready market for litanies to the plantation and the "old times" of ...
SIX: Jean Toomer's Cane: The Pastoral Return
Rhobert wears a house, like a monstrous diver's helmet, on his head." He is suffocating under the weight of it, and it is "a sad thing to see a banty-bowed, shaky, rickety-legged man straining the raw insides of his throat against smooth air."1 Like Thoreau's farmer, who has become ...
SEVEN: Agrarian Quarrel, Agrarian Question: What Shall This Land Produce?
In the poem "Antique Harvesters," which John Crowe Ransom wrote in 1925, a number of opposing directions and images are balanced through the language and situation. The title itself presents something of a contradiction that is complicated by Ransom's choice of adjectives. The ...
EIGHT: Faulkner's Sons of the Fathers: How to Inherit the Past
In Allen Tate's The Fathers, the characters are taken from a home and heritage that had seemed immune to rime and "scattered into the new life of the modern age where they cannot even find themselves" (TF, 5). The young protagonist who feels most keenly this disruption alternates between ...
NINE: To See Things in Their Time: The Act of Focusing in Eudora Welty's Fiction
In making a distinction between two forces that are prominent in her fiction, Eudora Welty has written that "place has always nursed, nourished, and instructed man. . . . Man can feel love for place; he is prone to regard time as something of an enemy."1 The feeling for the difference ...
TEN: The South Beyond Arcady
Eudora Welty published her first short story, "Death of a Traveling Salesman," in 1936. It was, no less than her most recent novel, a work in which both technique and theme relate to the act of focusing. The story closes in on the failures of perception of Mr. R. J. Bowman, who "for fourteen ...
Page Count: 278
Publication Year: 1999
OCLC Number: 828743031
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