Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 1-6

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

Local-color writing concerning the southern United States from 1870 until 1900 reveals as much about national readers and editors as it does about the region itself. That is the central claim of this book. The final three decades of the nineteenth century represent the height of the popularity...

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1 / “The Creative Potency of Hunger”: Travel Writing, Local Color, and the Charting of the Postwar South

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pp. 17-44

At the same moment that southern local-color fiction was exploding onto the national literary scene in the final few decades of the nineteenth century, travel writing about the South experienced an unprecedented spike in popularity. This chapter argues that these parallel histories are not coincidental and explores the intersection of these trends, particularly...

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2 / Unveiling the Body: Literary Reception and the “Outing” of Charles W. Chesnutt and Mary N. Murfree

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pp. 45-70

Two vignettes that emerge from the offices of the Atlantic Monthly reveal the nation’s obsession with regional difference, yoking the nation’s thirst for regional authenticity to the author’s body. Both scenes demonstrate that while local-color writing may have served as leisure literature for its readers, it proved necessary for the reading public to feel as if they were...

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3 / On the Fringes: Local Color’s Haunting of the Unified South

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pp. 71-105

One of the common narratives about the postwar South is that of the “lost cause”—the crises of meaning that emerged within the former white aristocracy, or at least the landowners, who gave so much to the Confederacy and were left with so little. This narrative focuses on the ways in which the South is haunted by its past—the loss of the war and...

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4 / “Wooing the Muse of the Odd”: New Orleans at the Gate of the Tropics

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pp. 106-144

In chapter 3, I discussed the fact that George Washington Cable is generally seen as the writer who conjured the uniqueness of New Orleans for the postwar national literary market. Though less well known both then and now, his friend and colleague Lafcadio Hearn shared many of the same literary and cultural values as did Cable. Whereas Cable was...

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Epilogue

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pp. 145-156

Upon Provincialism has examined local color’s depiction of the South in the most prominent national periodicals. In this literature, the trope of the outside traveler visiting a foreign South became the central means of bridging the imaginative gap between the national audience and the local subject matter. I have argued that charting the nexus of reader...

Notes

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pp. 157-174

Index

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pp. 175-184