Southern literature has long been heralded for its tragic
sentiments, in its somber and necessary acknowledgments of the
region's tormented past, as it has concomitantly asserted an
overarchingly heteronormative vision of Southern life. Yet a
pantheon of great authors, ranging from Tennessee Williams, Carson
McCullers, and Truman Capote to the present-day voices of Florence
King, Dorothy Allison, and David Sedaris, collectively attest both
to the vibrancy of queer experience and to the prevalence of humor
found in this rich regional canon. In Precious Perversions: Humor,
Homosexuality, and the Southern Literary Canon, Tison Pugh
challenges the premises that elevate William Faulkner and diminish
Rita Mae Brown, that esteem Walker Percy yet marginalize David
Sedaris, by arguing for the inclusion of gay comic authors as
defining voices in the field. By redefining the tenets of Southern
literature, Pugh reveals its long-overlooked or discounted aspects
of gay humor. Noting, for example, that Tennessee Williams is
revered as a dramatist who probes the heart of the human condition
rather than for his submerged camp humor, and that Truman Capote's
comic cinema and literature never eclipsed his more serious works,
Pugh establishes a history of mainstream and academic critique that
has consistently ignored queer humor. Likewise, Florence King and
Rita Mae Brown wrote defining narratives of Southern lesbian
experience in, respectively, Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady
and Rubyfruit Jungle, yet they are almost entirely neglected in
accounts of the literary South. More recently, the author shows,
the critical reception of Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina
testifies to an overarching interest in the traumatic aspects of
her poetry and fiction rather than in her humor and its cathartic
power. Pugh also asserts that David Sedaris, as a writer of the
post-Southern South, who appears to fall beyond the parameters of
regional literature for many readers, creates a new, humorous
vision of the South that recognises both its pained history and its
grudging accession to modernity. Drawing from works of key queer,
Southern writers, Pugh sets forth a new vision of Southern
literature- one illuminated by the humor of gay voices no longer at
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!