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Modern Literature Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

Criticizing Local Color: Innovative Conformity In Kate Chopin’S Short Fiction, Thomas Lewis Morgan Jun 2015

Criticizing Local Color: Innovative Conformity In Kate Chopin’S Short Fiction, Thomas Lewis Morgan

Thomas Morgan

One of the difficulties in using regionalism as a descriptive category to discuss late nineteenth-century literature is the series of shifting relationships it has with other terms describing literary production. Not only is there regionalism’s implied connection to realism, there is naturalism, romance, and even local color to consider, if one desires to distinguish between types of regional literary production. Added to this initial framework are the unspoken assumptions concerning intersecting definitions of generic form: the novel is implicitly connected to realism (and later naturalism), while the short story is traditionally associated with regionalism. Further complicating both sets of ...


Inverting The Haiku Moment: Alienation, Objectification, And Mobility In Richard Wright’S ‘Haiku: This Other World’, Thomas Lewis Morgan Jun 2015

Inverting The Haiku Moment: Alienation, Objectification, And Mobility In Richard Wright’S ‘Haiku: This Other World’, Thomas Lewis Morgan

Thomas Morgan

Richard Wright’s haiku — both the 4,000 he wrote at the end of his life and the 817 he selected for inclusion in Haiku: This Other World (1998) — remain something of an enigma in his larger oeuvre; critics variously position them as a continuation of his earlier thematic concerns in a different literary form, an aesthetic departure from the racialized limitations imposed upon his earlier work, or one of several positions in between. Such arguments debate the formal construction as well as the strategic reinvention of Wright’s haiku. The present essay engages both sides of this conversation, arguing ...


The City As Refuge: Constructing Urban Blackness In Paul Laurence Dunbar’S 'The Sport Of The Gods' And James Weldon Johnson’S 'Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man.', Thomas Lewis Morgan Jun 2015

The City As Refuge: Constructing Urban Blackness In Paul Laurence Dunbar’S 'The Sport Of The Gods' And James Weldon Johnson’S 'Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man.', Thomas Lewis Morgan

Thomas Morgan

This essay analyzes the narrative strategies that Paul Laurence Dunbar and James Weldon Johnson used to represent black characters in The Sport of the Gods and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man as a means of examining the authors' construction of the city as an alternative space for depicting African Americans. In late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century fiction, the majority of African American images in popular fiction were confined to Southern-based pastoral depictions that restricted black identity to stereotypically limited and historically regressive ideas, exemplified in such characters as Zip Coon, Sambo, Uncle Tom, Jim Crow, and Mammy Jane. The ...