RENAISSANCE IN THE SOUTH by John M. Bradbury

RENAISSANCE IN THE SOUTH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A catalogue annotating the assorted literary fauna which have dotted the Southern landscape since the '20's. Its itemizing is certainly catholic (the publisher, quite comfortably, could offer a prize to any reader spotting any reputable name left out anywhere), but its interpretations, though sophisticated in part, are hardly venturesome. Some preferences, however, are; for example, Thomas Wolfe, ""self-indulgent"", and Erskine Caldwell, purveyor of ""sub-human"" grotesques, are simply not in the running when curiosa favorites such as Isa Clenn, Frances Newman and Edwin Granberry, among others, are about. And GWTW is palmed off as a sort of ersatz extravaganza while laurels brim the brows of historical novelists Evelyn Scott and Caroline Miller. The author considers such procedures ""acts of simple justice"", and he's right about the adjective. There are much better evaluations of Faulkner, Ransom, Tate, Welty, Williams, etc., along with the various changing or unchanging themes, techniques, character types, economic and emotional exploitations, the Negro-white relations, the social/sexual preoccupations against tradition/modernist conflicts, the use of religious/romantic symbols and myths, especially by the Agrarian New Critics, and the influence of James and Eliot. Anyway, 40 years of fruitful bloom, a seemingly self-perpetuating wonder, lovingly, loyally tendered.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1963
Publisher: Univ. of North Carolina Press