North Carolina Fiction, 1734-1957: An Annotated Bibliography

North Carolina Fiction, 1734-1957: An Annotated Bibliography

North Carolina Fiction, 1734-1957: An Annotated Bibliography

North Carolina Fiction, 1734-1957: An Annotated Bibliography

Excerpt

Shortly after the publication of North Carolina Authors: A Selective Handbook (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Library, 1952), the Joint Committee of the North Carolina English Teachers Association and the North Carolina Library Association was authorized to continue its studies in state literature and bibliography. The present volume is the result of three years of cooperative research, to which staff members of public and institutional libraries, teachers of English, and private collectors have generously contributed.

The guiding purpose has been to make readily available to reference librarians, teachers, students, local historians, antiquarians, writers, and other interested users a substantial quantity of pertinent information about every known book of fiction with an ascertainable North Carolina setting published during the past 223 years. No part of this purpose is to recommend for profitable or enjoyable reading a random selection of such a two-century "attic" accumulation. Indexed to facilitate finding and annotated for purposeful selection and location, the book is only a descriptive catalogue, one function of which is to prevent waste of time in examining hundreds of useless items for fear of overlooking a few of genuine worth.

The comprehensive, non-selective scope of the bibliography appears to be justified by the almost infinite variety of purposes for which it is likely to be used. To serious literary and social historians, half or more of the titles may be of no importance whatever; yet exclusion for lack of literary merit of historical authenticity would deprive of helpful guidance those who seek the rare, the antique, the locally or topically specific, the awkwardly imitative, and the unconsciously droll. While qualitative judgments are stated in some annotations and implied in most, such judgments are to be attributed to the individual readers whose initials are appended and do not attempt more than a suggestion of selectivity.

Yet, comprehensive as it is, the scope of the bibliography excludes some noteworthy works which friendly critics will wish it had listed. Exclusion of many novels by well-known North Carolina authors on the basis of setting alone will be as keen a disappointment to some users as it is an unrelished practice of consistency on the part of the Joint Committee. Some dubious exclusions result from authors' use of a generalized regional setting which cannot be identified, by internal or external evidence, as definitely North Carolinian. Many valuable short stories are omitted because they were not published in book-length collections. The sometimes imperceptible line between fiction and non- fiction may have caused occasional erroneous discriminations. Several eligible novels, known to have been published, could not be included because no extant copy could be located.

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