Southern Gothic

Marvin Macy: The Strong Man of Grotesque Power and Heteronormativity Thumbnail

Marvin Macy: The Strong Man of Grotesque Power and Heteronormativity

Posted by Rachel Carden on May 19, 2017 in Blog, Rachel Carden tagged with , , , , ,

In my previous blog, I established Miss Amelia’s café as a place of inclusive community, linked to Mikhail Bakhtin’s conceptualisation of carnivals and their connection to freak shows. I highlighted that the space engendered a sense of community where its occupants’ grotesque physicality and their subversive genders were accepted. This post explores the grotesque power of patriarchy using Foucauldian theory and its resistance to the collapse of dichotomous gender and sexuality binaries in Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951). Justin Edwards and Rune Graulund, i

A Strong Man, a Hermaphrodite and a Hunchbacked Dwarf Walk into a Café: Carnival and Community in McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951) Thumbnail

A Strong Man, a Hermaphrodite and a Hunchbacked Dwarf Walk into a Café: Carnival and Community in McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951)

Posted by Rachel Carden on May 12, 2017 in Blog, Rachel Carden tagged with , , , ,

In my previous blog, I summarised the plot of McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café and aligned it with key genres and tropes to highlight its Gothicism and cultural critique of patriarchy through grotesque tropes. This post uses Bakhtinian theory to situate Miss Amelia’s café as a place of community, a theatrical space of gender performance and bodily oddities, which temporarily succeeds in challenging patriarchy.   The philosopher and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rabelais and His world (1965) analyses the work of the Renaissance writer François Rabelais to refocu

Carson McCullers and Genre: Female Gothic, American Gothic and the Southern Gothic’s Grotesquerie Thumbnail

Carson McCullers and Genre: Female Gothic, American Gothic and the Southern Gothic’s Grotesquerie

Posted by Rachel Carden on May 05, 2017 in Blog, Rachel Carden tagged with , , , , , ,

Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951) portrays the destructive power of the patriarchal regime.[1] McCullers’ use of grotesquerie brings the marginalised, the androgynous, the deformed and the weird to the forefront of her novella. In doing so, she makes the abnormal normal and the importance of binary distinctions, such as masculine and feminine, gay and straight, breakdown, at least temporarily. We feel compassion for those traditionally omitted from society and power – particularly, the distinctly masculine Miss Amelia – and we mourn the loss of a fleetingly enjoy

Maternal Community and Paternal Abandonment in Faulkner and Morrison Thumbnail

Maternal Community and Paternal Abandonment in Faulkner and Morrison

Posted by Ann Bradley on February 18, 2016 in Ann Bradley, Blog tagged with , , , ,

If trauma is not dealt with, recognized and communicated, then it has the potential to haunt the sufferer in the form of flashbacks. Absalom, Absalom! and Beloved go a step further than flashbacks. The individuals are haunted by living manifestations of their trauma. If those ghosts are to be exorcised however, it stands to reason that they would still need to be talked through, which requires a receptive community. The people who surround Sethe and Sutpen respectively have just as much to do with the end of the novel as the ghosts do. Their reactions to the spectres and the haunted det

Beloved and Charles Bon: Excess and Absence Thumbnail

Beloved and Charles Bon: Excess and Absence

Posted by Ann Bradley on February 11, 2016 in Ann Bradley, Blog tagged with , , , ,

The horrors that William Faulkner depicts in his novel, Absalom, Absalom! are general, pointing to a the fact that the South is built by the labour and death of women and slaves. This terrible mode of construction haunts the characters of the novel. Morrison’s work illustrates this same awful truth. “Beloved pictures American history as a haunted house, from which slavery’s legacy of grief and horror cannot be exorcised. The United States, as many American Gothic texts argue, is built on economic exploitation and racial terror” (Goddu 63-64). Unlike Absalom, Beloved focuses on the trau

Southern Gothic: A Traumatic Haunting Thumbnail

Southern Gothic: A Traumatic Haunting

Posted by Ann Bradley on February 05, 2016 in Ann Bradley, Blog tagged with , , , ,

Gothic literature in all of its permutations connects with the anxieties of the time, reflecting fears in the form of haunting. Southern Gothic is no exception. Just as traditional Gothic texts point out hypocrisies of religious systems or the like, American Gothic novels note the injustices of the region in which they are set. “The old antebellum South was nothing but myth, and its narrative of a supposedly halcyon past concealed all manner of social, familial and of course racial denials and suppressions […] Southern Gothic set to work by exposing their abuses and silences” (Walsh

An Interview with S.P. Miskowski, Part Two Thumbnail

An Interview with S.P. Miskowski, Part Two

Posted by James Campbell on September 30, 2013 in Blog, Interviews tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Presenting part two of our in-depth interview with S.P. Miskowski, author of 'Knock Knock' and 'The Skillute Cycle'.

An Interview with S.P. Miskowski, Part One Thumbnail

An Interview with S.P. Miskowski, Part One

Posted by James Campbell on September 23, 2013 in Blog, Interviews tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the first of a two-part interview S.P. Miskowski, author of 'Knock Knock' and 'The Skillute Cycle,' discusses writing, labelling and marketing her work; the role of 'horror' in North American culture; 'women in horror'; and the current renaissance in small-press publishing.

CFP on ‘The Spectral South’ Thumbnail

CFP on ‘The Spectral South’

Posted by Matt Foley on February 25, 2013 in Blog, News tagged with ,

Special Issue of The South Carolina Review: The Spectral South contact email: slauro@clemson.edu & kmangan@clemson.edu Essay proposals are invited for a special themed issue of The South Carolina Review that examines the images of zombies, vampires, and other undead in the American South. We are particularly interested in how the narratives of these specters exorcise cultural guilt about slavery, fears of racial contamination, and the split personality of the state that once succeeded from the Union. We are also happy to consider contributions that take a broader view of what the

Stephen King and John Mellencamp: Southern Gothic musical Thumbnail

Stephen King and John Mellencamp: Southern Gothic musical

Posted by Glennis Byron on April 01, 2011 in News tagged with , , ,

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a 'Southern Gothic' musical by Stephen King and John Mellencamp, will finally have its long anticipated premiere in April 2012 in Atlanta...