Shakespeare and Southern Writers: A Study in Influence

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This collection of essays documents the indebtedness and thematic similarities uniting Shakespeare and eight southern authors--William Gilmore Simms, Henry Timrod, Sidney Lanier, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren, and Walker Percy. Each of these essays, written expressly for this collection, examines the shared cultural heritage in which Shakespeare has been received as well as the significant ways in which each of these writers has responded to Shakespeare. Since no other single work currently exists that exclusively considers this subject, Shakespeare and Southern Writers will be a valuable resource for scholars of American literature, Shakespearian studies, and southern culture, giving as it does not only a much needed account of the Bard's influence on the life and writings of these particular writers but also an assessment of his influence on southern letters in general. The eight authors selected are representatives of various periods and achievements in southern literature (the local color movement, the age of the Fugitives-Agrarians, the modern novel); their work represents the widely different genres in which Shakespeare's influence was felt--the lyric (Timrod, Warren), the drama (Simms--in both comedy and tragedy), the novel (Twain, Faulkner, Percy), and criticism (Ransom, in particular). The editor draws together these disparate and individual writers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in an introductory essay that points out the variety and richness of these authors' responses to Shakespeare.