I’ve written about the image of dust in William Faulkner’s “Dry September” (1931) on this blog before, and today I would like to look at another aspect of Faulkner’s story that struck me as I reread it recently. Faulkner never shows McClendon and the mob lynch Will Mayes; however, we know that is exactly what happens because as they return in the car, Hawkshaw … Read More The Blank Spots in Faulkner’s “Dry September” and Ernest Gaines
After John the Baptist baptizes Jesus Christ in the gospels, Jesus goes into the desert for forty days and forty nights before beginning his ministry. During that time, Satan tempts Jesus three times with food, display of divination, and dominion over the world. Jesus does not succumb to these temptations, and he rebukes Satan with scripture, ultimately defeating him. As I read through Ernest … Read More Miss Jane Pittman and the Temptation of Christ
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"
When Django and Dr. King Schultz ride into Daughtrey, Texas, near the beginning of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (2012), the white townspeople freeze, staring in shock at an African American riding a horse next to a white man driving a carriage. Django does not drive the carriage, as would be expected of an African American servant or slave. Django rides through the streets on … Read More Horses, Manhood, and Power in Ernest J. Gaines
As my son looked for The Avengers in the graphic novels piled up on the shelves in the local library, I stumbled upon Jason Aaron and Jason Latour’s Southern Bastards (Image Comics). Initially, I picked the book up, flipped through it, then placed it back on the shelf as I ran to see what the toddler decided to get himself into. After looking around … Read More Southern Bastards and the Simmering of the South