The Context of William Styrons's The Confessions of Nat Turner

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Kim, SooKyung
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서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
영학논집 7(1983): 185-190
A controlling assumption among critics of Southern literature today seems to be that the
Southern Renaissance is over. Walter Sullivan, for example, views the extinction of literary
florence in the South as an inevitable outcome. The myth of the past which sustained the
renaissance in the last few decades, he believes, was not substantial enough to resist the
surge "of social programs on the one hand, the attack of science and materialism on the
other hand." Lewis P. Simpson does not declare the close of the Southern Renaissance.
He views, however, the Southern literature to have gone through two major stages since
1920s. In the first stage which covers from 1920s to about 1950, Southern writing records
"an attempted reconstruction of the meaning of the past by the literary mind." The
second stage, he continues, is a period in which Southern writing tends to record "the
breakdown of the endeavor in reconstructi on," and to suggest "that the only meaningful
covenant for the latter-day writer is one with the self on terms generally defined as
William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner is one of the most germane novels in
the controversy about the continuity of the Southern Renaissance. A predominant opinion
about the novel is that Styron took quite a different line from his preceding generation.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)영학논집(English Studies)영학논집(English Studies) No.07 (1983)
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