An Across Walls Overview-study of Novels and Short Stories by Eighteen 20th, Century English and American Authors (Studies in Comparative Literature v

An Across Walls Overview-study of Novels and Short Stories by Eighteen 20th, Century English and American Authors (Studies in Comparative Literature v

By: Gillian Mary Hanson (author), Alan Sillitoe (preface_author)Hardback

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In Dr. Hanson's work, each chapter clearly and effectively juxtaposes an English and an American Writer who utilizes similar themes and patterns in their stories and who as it were, generally lived and wrote during common or close decades within the century. In identifying common themes of women writers in the American South and the English North, she not only highlights finer terrains of culture and literature but also, paradoxically, bridges these two unique locales and brings them closer together. The Deep South, the Far North - south of the Mason-Dixon Line in the United States, or north of the River Trent in Great Britain, all is fair game to the metropolitan pundits to point to the distinction, and consider with little sympathy or understanding. Rarely do they allow the writers who live in or write about those outlandish regions to come with full justice into the center. Yet the true center is a region that the metropolitan crowd can hardly know with any exactitude. A talented and interesting spoiler from the boondocks or outback rarely regards the center of artistic judgement to be some geographical point of reference in the capital city, but rather as a zone in the middle of themselves, a more vital place from where their work comes, and the only one which can matter. The best art only ever came out of a single creative source - if art it can still be called while its practitioners are still alive, and before history or forgetfulness has or had not carried all away. If such writers are anywhere at all at the present time it will be thanks to Gillian Hanson and her illuminating book, an informative co-ordination that points to the fact - a fair supposition - that writers out of the so-called center, but with the English language at their common disposal, are connected more to each other than to the respective centers in their own countries. I like that. Such an original concept has a ring of positive and encouraging truth. It must be inspiring too, to those writers who have had the privilege of being grouped in this way. The critical faculties of the reviewers in England - and elsewhere, for all I know - are beamed onto those novels they purport most to understand, and though one can hardly blame them for that, there occasionally comes a feeling that their readers are not being realistically informed of what is being written. Complaints are invidious, of course, since good writing about people who don't normally appear in novels and stories will sooner or later find its rightful place. It often does, even so, but this excellent book by Gillian Hanson, meant for the general reader such as you or myself, and therefore enjoyable to read, will play a part in the necessary process. It can't do anything but good, both for those she writes about with such sympathy and perception, and for the reader who will without a doubt end the book by being better and more clearly informed.

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Introduction 1 Chapter One: Georgia and Yorkshire: Reversals and Inversions in Carson McCullers' The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and Susan Hill's "The Albatross" and A Bit of Singing and Dancing 13 Chapter Two: Louisiana and Nottinghamshire: Rotation and Repetition in Walker Percy's The Moviegoer and Alan Sillitoe's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and "The Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner" 31 Chapter Three: Georgia and Merseyside: Violence and Laughter in Flannery O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge," "Good Country People," and "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and Beryl Bainbridge's A Quiet Life and The Dressmaker 51 Chapter Four: Maryland and Manchester: Musicians and Travelers in Ann Tyler's Searching for Caleb and Anthony Burgess' The Pianoplayers 71 Chapter Five: Cumbria and Mississippi: The Symbolic Potential of the Land in Elizabeth Spencer's Fire in the Morning and Melvyn Bragg's The Hired Man 85 Chapter Six: Kentucky and Yorkshire: Metaphysical Landscapes and Character Transformations in Wendell Berry's The Memory of Old Jack and Jane Gardam's Crusoe's Daughter 97 Chapter Seven: Mississippi and Lancashire: Petrified Women in Eudora Welty's Curtain of Green and Elizabeth Troops' Darling Daughters 107 Chapter Eight: Kentucky and Teeside: Social Entrapment in Bobby Ann 123 Mason's Love Life and "Shiloh" and Pat Barker's Union Street Chapter Nine: Coventry and Virginia: Women Renewed in Doris Betts' Heading West and "Hitchhiker" and Sue Townsend's Rebuilding Coventry and Womberang 141 Chapter Notes 155 Bibliography 161 Index 167

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/11/2002
  • ISBN13: 9780773469976
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 180
  • ID: 9780773469976
  • ISBN10: 0773469974

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