Sand in Your Mouth

June Howard

in The Oxford Handbook of American Literary Naturalism

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780195368932
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Sand in Your Mouth

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  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)



This article questions the coherence and stability of “naturalism.” It demonstrates that “naturalism and other genres” is a consequential topic, pointing us not only to fundamental questions about the practice of genre criticism but also to central problems in literary and cultural history. While the investigation has not resulted in any strikingly new observations about the form, it has assembled known points into a frame of reference that makes a somewhat different kind of sense. It is shown that the genre can be useful both as an historical and as an interpretive category. Any sand remaining in our mouths is a resistance necessary to the form. The terms of literary studies are constantly transformed—but “naturalism” remains a valuable resource in our thinking about modern genres.

Keywords: literary naturalism; genre; criticism; literary history; cultural history; literary studies

Article.  5780 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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