Academic journal article The Southern Literary Journal

Editorial Note

Academic journal article The Southern Literary Journal

Editorial Note

Article excerpt

This issue of the Southern Literary Journal seems heavily weighted with essays 1) about prose fiction, 2) about white authors, and 3) about material written in the second half of the twentieth century. Such is hardly a bias on the part of the editors--we would welcome more essays on Southern poetry, on African-American writers, and on literature before 1950--but it does reflect what many scholars seem to be writing these days, at least if our contributors are any index. Such a situation, in some respects, is positive: essays on contemporary writers Eudora Welty, William Styron, and John Ehle (what might be called the second generation of the Southern Renascence) and certainly those on Lee Smith and Richard Ford (the third generation?) suggest just how healthy the condition of Southern fiction continues to be. But what of the first generation? What of William Faulkner, in whose shadow not only Southern novelists but (in some respects, even more so) Southern literary scholars were said to labor? That shadow has receded. If there is any shadow now--any dominant influence on under-fifty Southern writers of fiction--it is that of Welty and, to a lesser extent, Walker Percy and Flannery O'Connor. …

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