COVER

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pp. 1-1

Frontmatter

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pp. iii-v

CONTENTS

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pp. vii-vii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-x

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INTRODUCTION: The Old South and Historical Causality

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pp. 1-11

Recent developments in critical theory have relegated the chronological dimension of literary experience to a position of markedly less importance in the scheme of things than it had once enjoyed. For those of us who concern ourselves with the literary imagination of the ...

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I. THE EDGE OF THE SWAMP: Literature and Society in the Old South

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pp. 12-53

There is an old pleasantry that at the convention in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1850, when the various Southern states met to decide upon a common strategy for the intensifying sectional crisis, resolutions were enacted to the effect that "RESOLVED, that there be ...

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II. THE DREAM OF THE PLANTATION: Simms, Hammond, Charleston

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pp. 54-102

The writings of William Gilmore Simms of South Carolina are little read today. In his heyday as a novelist, however, during the 18305 and 18403, he was one of the best known and most respected of all American authors, with a literary reputation that extended ...

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III. THE ROMANCE OF THE FRONTIER: Simms, Cooper, and the Wilderness

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pp. 103-126

I have sought to show how William Gilmore Simms's life and career were very much a middle-class American affair, and how his ardent pursuit of the status of respected and honored man of letters within the politically obsessed planter community of antebellum South ...

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IV. THE INWARD IMAGINATION: Poe

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pp. 127-189

In the January, 1836, issue of the Southern Literary Messenger there was published a review of William Gilmore Simms's novel The Partisan, the first of the novelist's historical romances of the American Revolution. Simms had dedicated the book to a Charleston ...

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V. THE POET LAUREATE OF THE CONFEDERACY

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pp. 190-225

If Edgar Poe was by all odds the most accomplished and important of all the writers of the antebellum South, the only Southern author whose writings are read today for reasons other than scholarly interest (not that there is anything disgraceful about that), then it must ...

Index

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pp. 227-234