Book

Fears and Fascinations

Thomas F. Haddox

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780823225217
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236947 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225217.001.0001
Fears and Fascinations

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This book charts what has been a largely unexplored literary landscape, looking at the work of such diverse writers as the gens de couleur libre poets of antebellum New Orleans, Kate Chopin, Mark Twain, Carson McCullers, Margaret Mitchell, Allen Tate, Caroline Gordon, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and John Kennedy Toole. It shows that Catholicism and its Church have always been a presence, albeit in different ways, in the southern cultural tradition. For some, Catholicism has been associated with miscegenation and with the political aspirations of African Americans; for others, it has served as the model for the feudal and patriarchal society that some southern whites sought to establish; for still others, it has presented a gorgeous aesthetic spectacle associated with decadence and homoeroticism; and for still others, it has marked a quotidian, do-it-yourself “lifestyle” attractive for its lack of concern with southern anxieties about honor. By focusing on the shifting and contradictory ways Catholicism has signified within southern literature and culture, this book contributes to a more nuanced understanding of American and southern literary and cultural history.

Keywords: New Orleans; Catholicism; miscegenation; political aspirations; African Americans; southern whites; decadence; homoeroticism; honor; cultural history; southern literature

Book.  236 pages. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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Introduction in Fears and Fascinations

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