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"The Prong of Love"

"The Prong of Love" ESSAY by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall rew Faust's central and important insight is that readers of Gone with the Windmust attend to how representations of race and gender work together. I could not agree with her more. But I also think that she oversimplifies that dynamic by failing to place it firmly in historical context and underestimates the roots of the book's appeal in what Anne Jones, following Zora Neale Hurs- ton, calls, so wonderfully, the "prong of love" -- the racialized myths of heterosexual romance. Faust notes quite righdy that Gone with the Wind, for all of Margaret Mitchell's professed fascination with the Civil War, is very much a book of the 1920s. I would push this point even further. The longing for blackness, the "fluidity between black and white positions," which (like Joel Williamson in his essay "How Black Was Rhett Butier") Patricia Yaeger so perceptively sees lurking in the novel's images, "hidden in plain sight," peaked in the 1920s -- the Jazz Age, the era of the Harlem Renaissance, of Flaming Youth. That period was marked by Red scares and race riots, by intense nativism and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. But it was http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
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Abstract

ESSAY by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall rew Faust's central and important insight is that readers of Gone with the Windmust attend to how representations of race and gender work together. I could not agree with her more. But I also think that she oversimplifies that dynamic by failing to place it firmly in historical context and underestimates the roots of the book's appeal in what Anne Jones, following Zora Neale Hurs- ton, calls, so wonderfully, the "prong of love" -- the racialized myths of heterosexual romance. Faust notes quite righdy that Gone with the Wind, for all of Margaret Mitchell's professed fascination with the Civil War, is very much a book of the 1920s. I would push this point even further. The longing for blackness, the "fluidity between black and white positions," which (like Joel Williamson in his essay "How Black Was Rhett Butier") Patricia Yaeger so perceptively sees lurking in the novel's images, "hidden in plain sight," peaked in the 1920s -- the Jazz Age, the era of the Harlem Renaissance, of Flaming Youth. That period was marked by Red scares and race riots, by intense nativism and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. But it was

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 4, 1999

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