This is a pioneering work in comparative European literature by a leading American scholar. So-called Local Color Literature emerged in the mid nineteenth century, both in the United States and Europe. The US tradition has received scholarly attention, most notably by Donovan herself, whose pioneering work opened up the field. Her new book, on the European tradition, fills a significant gap in the literary history of Western culture. It covers the German ("Dorfgeschichten" - more or less "village histories"), French ("Contes" or "stories"), Irish, and Scottish traditions in detail, with a chapter devoted to each. In Germany, the tradition has been neglected by critics and commentators because of an unfair association with the Nazi heimet (home) literature. A final chapter will limn the European influence on the American local colorists - an influence not studied before. In an age of globalization, with the fears we all have of conformity and homogenization, interest in local-color literatures is growing. This book will help bring these literatures and their tradition back to life.
Josephine Donovan is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Maine, USA. She is the author or editor of twelve books, including the groundbreak Feminist Theory (3rd ed, 2000). She lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Preface; Introduction; Chapter One: Local-Color Literature and the Colonizations of Modernity; Chapter Two: The Irish National Tale; Chapter Three: The Scottish National Tale; Chapter Four: Dorfgeschichte: The German Village Tale; Chapter Five: Romans Champetres: French Provincial Literature; Epilogue: A Sketch of the Local-Color Movement in Other Countries; Works Cited and Other Relevant Titles.