Category: southern gothic

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American History and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Last post, I wrote about the Southern paradoxes in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Today, I want to look at the opening of the novel because Scout traces the events of the novel deep into our nation’s history, before Jem, Scout, or Atticus arrived on the scene. This is important because for all of the missed moments of reflection in the novel, the … Read More American History and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”

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Southern Paradoxes in Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”

Every time I read Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird (1960), I’m reminded of the book’s problematic nature. Why do we continue to put so much stock in Lee’s novel, teaching it in high schools across the nation? Alice Randall points out the problems within Lee’s novel and states, “Let’s be clear: “To Kill a Mockingbird” is not a children’s book. It is an … Read More Southern Paradoxes in Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”

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Language in William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”: Part II

Last post, I started discussing the ways that William Faulkner, in The Sound and the Fury (1929), explores the ways that language and words construct meaning and social hierarchies. Today, I want to continue that discussion by zeroing in on a couple of more scenes in Quentin’s section, specifically the scene where he talks with the three boys who are going fishing and the … Read More Language in William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”: Part II

The Master Narrative in Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing”

Last post, I wrote about some of the Gothic elements in issues #41 and #42 of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and the repetition of the “unsuccessfully repressed.” Today, I want to continue that discussion some by looking at the conclusion of issue #42, “Strange Fruit.” Rather than breaking with the past by burning the roots of hate and prejudice, the space shifts from Robertaland … Read More The Master Narrative in Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing”

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The Past in Kirsten Imani Kasai’s “The House of Erzulie”

Note: You can win a copy of Kasai’s The House of Erzulie. Just tweet or retweet this post (make sure to tag me so I know you Tweeted it  @silaslapham). The winner will be chosen randomly at noon Saturday January 13.   Recently, I had the chance to read Kirsten Imani Kasai‘s The House of Erzulie (Feburary 2018 Shade Mountain Press), a novel that, on the … Read More The Past in Kirsten Imani Kasai’s “The House of Erzulie”

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What to Expect in 2018!

Welcome to 2018! Back in August 2015, I started Interminable Rambling as a space for me to flesh out thoughts I had concerning texts I was reading, pedagogy, and culture. Since that first post, I have published 236 posts for this site on a myriad of topics such as Mary Rowlandson and Sarah Kemble Knight to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and court cases such … Read More What to Expect in 2018!

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Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog” and Slave Rebellion

Ever since I first encountered Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog, or the Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs,” I became intrigued by the issues Poe addressed through this Gothic story that takes place far away from American soil. The story first appeared in 1849, and we can read the story in an autobiographical manner, as some scholars have done. However, I would argue that we must also read … Read More Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog” and Slave Rebellion

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“African American Literature and the American South” Syllabus

Occasionally, I post syllabi ideas here on the blog. Today, I want to share a syllabus I have been thinking about recently entitled “African American Literature and the American South.” The South, as a geographic and imaginary space, looms large in the works of not just African American authors but in writers of all ethnic backgrounds from the United States. Maryemma Graham discusses the … Read More “African American Literature and the American South” Syllabus

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Colorblind Casting and Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

Last post, I wrote about the racial undercurrents that populate Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955). Today, I want to briefly discuss the 2008 Broadway performance of the play with an all black cast starring James Earl Jones, Phyilcia Rashad, Terrence Howard,  Anika Noni Rose, and others. While all of the actors in the Broadway performance are phenomenal across the board, … Read More Colorblind Casting and Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

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The Undercurrents of Race in Tennessee William’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

Recently, I taught Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and noticed, as I reread it, the undercurrents of race that appear throughout. Over the next couple of posts, I want to explore these aspects of “playing in the dark” that buttress the story of the Politt family’s decline as Big Daddy and everyone else comes face to face with his mortality. … Read More The Undercurrents of Race in Tennessee William’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

Music in Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation”

Last post, I wrote about “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” in Richard Wright’s “Long Black Song.” Today, I want to look at another song in a short story, this time in Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation.” The bluegrass, gospel song “You Go to Your Church and I’ll Go to Mine” appears in “Revelation” while Ruby Turpin and her husband Claud sit in the doctor’s … Read More Music in Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation”

Reconstructing and Learning from the Past in Attica Locke’s "The Cutting Season"

Attica Locke At the beginning of Ernest J. Gaines’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971), Mary asks the unnamed history teacher why he wants to interview Miss Jane. He tells her that he teaches history and that his students would benefit from Jane’s story because “Miss Jane is not in [their history books]” (v). Because of this omission, like the missing pages in … Read More Reconstructing and Learning from the Past in Attica Locke’s "The Cutting Season"