By Robert H. Brinkmeyer Jr.
Within the 1949 vintage Killers of the Dream, Lillian Smith defined 3 racial "ghosts" haunting the brain of the white South: the black lady with whom the white guy usually had sexual family, the rejected baby from a mixed-race coupling, and the black mammy whom the white southern baby first loves yet then needs to reject. during this groundbreaking paintings, Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr., extends Smith's paintings through including a fourth "ghost" lurking within the psyche of the white South--the specter of ecu Fascism. He explores how southern writers of the Nineteen Thirties and Nineteen Forties replied to Fascism, and such a lot tellingly to the recommendation that the racial politics of Nazi Germany had a different, tricky relevance to the South and its segregated social system.As Brinkmeyer indicates, approximately all white southern writers in those a long time felt impelled to accommodate this specter and with the results for southern identification of the problems raised via Nazism and Fascism. Their responses different extensively, starting from repression and denial to the repulsion of self-recognition. With penetrating perception, Brinkmeyer examines the paintings of writers who meditated the relationship among the authoritarianism and racial politics of Nazi Germany and southern tradition. He exhibits how white southern writers--both these writing cultural feedback and people writing imaginitive literature--turned to Fascist Europe for photographs, analogies, and metaphors for representing and realizing the clash among conventional and sleek cultures that they have been witnessing in Dixie.Brinkmeyer considers the works of a variety of authors of various political stripes: the Nashville Agrarians, W. J. money, Lillian Smith, William Alexander Percy, Thomas Wolfe, William Faulkner, Katherine Anne Porter, Carson McCullers, Robert Penn Warren, and Lillian Hellman. He argues persuasively that by way of accomplishing their works the very important modern debates approximately totalitarianism and democracy, those writers reconfigured their knowing not just of the South but in addition of themselves as southerners, and of the character and value in their art.The magnum opus of a exceptional student, The Fourth Ghost deals a gorgeous reassessment of the cultural and political orientation of southern literature by means of reading a big and heretofore unexplored impression on its improvement.
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Additional resources for The Fourth Ghost: White Southern Writers and European Fascism, 1930-1950 (Southern Literary Studies)
It is the contemporary form of pioneering; yet since it never consents to deﬁne its goal, it is a pioneering on principle, and with an accelerating speed” (ITMS 15). In its ruthless pragmatism and endless pursuit of wealth and new markets for its goods, industrialism, the Agrarians believed, destroyed the values holding together traditional societies, particularly the bond with the soil. Industrialism valued time over place, movement over stasis, individualism over community, fostering a psychology of transience that Ransom summarizes in this directive: “Do not allow yourself to feel homesick; form no such powerful attachments that you will feel a pain in cutting them loose; prepare your spirit to be always on the move” (ITMS 6).
The primary goal of the academy, he wrote Davidson (10 August 1929), was to “create an intellectual situation interior to the South” (LCDT 230); that is, they would control the ideas that deﬁned southern culture. “I underscore it,” Tate added, “because, to me, it contains the heart of the matter” (LCDT 230). In his letter outlining his program to Lytle (29 July 1929), Tate wrote that the group should suppress all reservations and work together in a united front. “There’s no use taking half measures,” he wrote.
Even though all of the Agrarians were committed to defending southern traditionalism (that was what brought them together), they often disagreed about the group’s practical goals. The disagreement over the symposium’s title reveals the fault lines that would only grow more visible over time. The strongest defenders of the title were Davidson and Clarence Nixon (who at one point had suggested the title “The Promise of a Southern Life: A Collection of Essays by a Group of Rebels of the Third Generation”), together with Ransom; those most opposed were Robert Penn Warren, Lytle, and Tate.