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Modern Literature Commons

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American Literature

The University of Southern Mississippi

Roland Barthes

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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

The Return Of The Dead: Resurrecting Chappell's Family Gathering, Jonathan Moore Dec 2018

The Return Of The Dead: Resurrecting Chappell's Family Gathering, Jonathan Moore

Master's Theses

This thesis examines Fred Chappell’s virtually overlooked collection of poetry Family Gathering (2000), and how the poems operate within the mode of the grotesque. I argue that the poems illuminate both the southern grotesque and Roland Barthes’s theory of photography’s Operator, Spectator, and Spectrum. I address Family Gathering as a family photo album full of still shots, snapshots, and even selfies, which illumines how Chappell’s use of the grotesque in this collection derives more from its original association with visual arts rather than only depicting the grotesque typically associated with characteristics deemed explicitly shocking or terrifying ...