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Racial Fictions and the Cultural Work of Genre in Charles W. Chesnutt’s The House Behind the Cedars

Racial Fictions and the Cultural Work of Genre in Charles W. Chesnutt’s The House Behind the Cedars MELISSA ASHER RAUTERKUS I intend to record my impressions of men and things, and such incidents or conversations which take place within my knowledge, with a view to future use in literary work. I shall not record stale negro minstrel jokes, or worn out newspaper squibs on the "man and brother." I shall leave the realm of fiction, where most of this stuff is manufactured, and come down to hard facts. Charles W. Chesnutt, 16 March 1880, The Journals of Charles W. Chesnutt 1 Fifteen years of life in the South, in one of the most eventful eras of its history; among a people whose life is rich in the elements of romance; under conditions calculated to stir one's soul to the very depths;--I think there is here a fund of experience, a supply of material. . . . [I]f I do write, I shall write for a purpose. . . . The object of my writings would be not so much the elevation of the colored people as the elevation of the whites. Charles W. Chesnutt, 29 May 1880, Journals of Chesnutt 2 In a pivotal scene in The House Behind the Cedars (1900), Judge Straight and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Literary Realism University of Illinois Press

Racial Fictions and the Cultural Work of Genre in Charles W. Chesnutt’s The House Behind the Cedars

American Literary Realism , Volume 48 (2) – Dec 10, 2016

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 American Literary Realism.
ISSN
1940-5103
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Abstract

MELISSA ASHER RAUTERKUS I intend to record my impressions of men and things, and such incidents or conversations which take place within my knowledge, with a view to future use in literary work. I shall not record stale negro minstrel jokes, or worn out newspaper squibs on the "man and brother." I shall leave the realm of fiction, where most of this stuff is manufactured, and come down to hard facts. Charles W. Chesnutt, 16 March 1880, The Journals of Charles W. Chesnutt 1 Fifteen years of life in the South, in one of the most eventful eras of its history; among a people whose life is rich in the elements of romance; under conditions calculated to stir one's soul to the very depths;--I think there is here a fund of experience, a supply of material. . . . [I]f I do write, I shall write for a purpose. . . . The object of my writings would be not so much the elevation of the colored people as the elevation of the whites. Charles W. Chesnutt, 29 May 1880, Journals of Chesnutt 2 In a pivotal scene in The House Behind the Cedars (1900), Judge Straight and

Journal

American Literary RealismUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Dec 10, 2016

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