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By Coleman Hutchison

Apples and Ashes bargains the 1st literary historical past of the Civil battle South. The manufactured from broad archival examine, it tells an expansive tale a couple of country suffering to jot down itself into life. accomplice literature was once in intimate dialog with different modern literary cultures, in particular these of the us and Britain. therefore, Coleman Hutchison argues, it has profound implications for our figuring out of yankee literary nationalism and the connection among literature and nationalism extra broadly.

Apples and Ashes is geared up via style, with each one bankruptcy utilizing a unmarried textual content or a small set of texts to limn a broader element of accomplice literary tradition. Hutchison discusses an understudied and numerous archive of literary texts together with the literary feedback of Edgar Allan Poe; southern responses to Uncle Tom’s Cabin; the novels of Augusta Jane Evans; accomplice renowned poetry; the de facto accomplice nationwide anthem, “Dixie”; and a number of other postwar southern memoirs. as well as emphasizing the centrality of slavery to the accomplice literary mind's eye, the publication additionally considers a sequence of novel issues: the reprinting of eu novels within the accomplice South, together with Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations and Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables; accomplice propaganda in Europe; and postwar accomplice emigration to Latin America.

In discussing literary feedback, fiction, poetry, renowned track, and memoir, Apples and Ashes reminds us of accomplice literature’s once-great expectancies. ahead of their defeat and abjection—before apples became to ashes of their mouths—many Confederates proposal they have been within the means of making a country and a countrywide literature that might endure.

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Additional info for Apples and Ashes: Literature, Nationalism, and the Confederate States of America

Sample text

A close examination of the rhetoric of this nationalism reveals a national literary culture in aspiration. Recent comparative histories of nationalism suggest that the struggle to found a national culture is in many ways every bit as important as its achievement or failure. Such histories also emphasize the privileged and peculiar relationship between the social construction of nationality and time. For instance, the literary historian Gregory Jusdanis has theorized the experiences of both national belatedness and national culture in aspiration.

That issue’s “greatly expanded review section” included twenty-five reviews (twenty-four of which are generally attributed to Poe) and stretched across twenty-seven two-column pages (Pollin and Ridgely 46–47). Avid contemporary readers of the Messenger would have noted not only the remarkable growth of the review section but also the diversity of its topics and the generally biting tone of its editorial voice. 15 Poe’s December 1835 review of Robert Montgomery Bird’s The Hawks of Hawk-Hollow is in many ways characteristic of his reviews of contemporary American fiction for the Messenger.

Poe had come to the attention of Thomas W. White through John Pendleton Kennedy, the plantation novelist and historical romanticist who served as one of Poe’s important early mentors. Poe, who was merely twenty-six years old when he arrived in Richmond in August 1835, succeeded Heath (August 1834–April 1835) and Edward Vernon Sparhawk (May 1835–July 1835), a minor poet and journalist from Maine, as de facto editor of the Messenger. His tenure was famously contentious, with Poe taking at least one leave of absence from his duties, and with White constantly worrying about Poe’s drinking and fussing over his incendiary, attention-grabbing reviews.

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