Heartland of the Imagination

Conservative Values in American Literature from Poe to O’Connor to Haruf


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About the Book

Conservative strands in American literature are often overlooked in university courses. This book focuses on the works of conservative American writers and of others who have written of America from a conservative perspective. Beginning with the work of Edgar Allan Poe, the book explores the traditionalist temper in books by Vachel Lindsay, James Agee, Flannery O’Connor, V.S. Naipaul, and Kent Haruf. Drawing on the theories of Lewis P. Simpson, Leszek Kolakowski, Roger Scruton, and Gertrude Himmelfarb, among others, this text offers a fresh examination of a significant aspect of American literature.

About the Author(s)

Jeffrey J. Folks has taught literature in Europe, America, and Japan, most recently as professor of letters in the graduate school of Doshisha University. His articles on American literature and culture have appeared in Modern Age, Southern Literary Journal, and Papers on Language and Literature, among other journals.

Bibliographic Details

Jeffrey J. Folks
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5976-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8804-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. Poe and the Cogito      33
2. Poe and Lindsay, Literary Outcasts      51
3. Vachel Lindsay’s Covenant with America      73
4. Agee and Dostoevsky: Two Writers Possessed      89
5. Flannery O’Connor’s Conservatism: A Reading of The Violent Bear It Away      113
6. Naipaul’s Turn in the American South      136
7. The Fiction of Kent Haruf      155

Epilogue: The Dialect of the Tribe      173
Works Cited      195
Index      201