This class is a survey course of the literature of the American Southern Gothic tradition. Elements that differentiate this type of literature from others are a focus on the grotesque, damaged or disturbing characters, settings and buildings in various stages of decay, and dark events arising from crime, racial tensions, and alienation. This course specifically focuses on the literature of Flanner O'Connor (Wise Blood, The Violent Bear It Away, selected short stories from A Good Man is Hard to Find short story collection), William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying, Absalom, Absalom!, The Sound and the Fury), Walker Percy (The Moviegoer, Lost in the Cosmos, and selected essays from Signposts in a Strange Land), Cormac McCarthy (The Road, All the Pretty Horses), with excerpts from Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, and Carson McCullers' short stories.
The final course paper allows you to choose a particular work that you read this semester, select a particular or several related particular thematic elements, and write a research paper of 12-15 pages in length with a minimum of 15 citations. Given the breadth of topics covered, this course guide provides multiple means of finding valuable resources (from books to journals and articles) that will enhance your knowledge of the subject and provide helpful criticism already written to amplify your findings.
Before beginning a search, it's important to note what kind of resources your institution makes available to you.