Southern Prose Writers: Representative Selections, with Introduction, Bibliography, and Notes

Southern Prose Writers: Representative Selections, with Introduction, Bibliography, and Notes

Southern Prose Writers: Representative Selections, with Introduction, Bibliography, and Notes

Southern Prose Writers: Representative Selections, with Introduction, Bibliography, and Notes

Excerpt

The purpose that has guided the choice of selections for this volume has been to make available to students of American literature southern literary materials not readily available in convenient form elsewhere and to present these materials in units sufficiently large to be genuinely representative of the authors chosen. This has meant a rigid limitation in the number of authors considered and has made the problem of selection very difficult, for it is easier to select small units from many authors than to choose a few authors to be represented by relatively large units. The latter seems worth doing, however, for although a collection which devotes only a page or two to each author may be entertaining for an ocean voyage, it is poorly adapted for college study.

The main limitation set has been the obvious one of chronology. Recent writers, whose works are readily available and generally well known, have been omitted. While no rigid terminal date has been set, the selection of authors has been confined, in the main, to those whose important work was done in the nineteenth century.

Within the time limits established, the selection has been guided by the desire to choose the most representative writers of each genre, and, on the whole, to lean toward an emphasis on belles-lettres rather than on the more utilitarian--though often powerful--prose which has occupied so much of the attention of gifted Southerners.

Since Poe, as both story writer and critic, could not be covered in the few pages that might be spared for him, and since there is an excellent Poe volume in the American Writers Series, I have felt obliged, though with misgivings, to omit selections from his works.

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