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“Queer Rednecks”: Padgett Powell’s Manly South

“Queer Rednecks”: Padgett Powell’s Manly South Essay .................... "Queer Rednecks" Padgett Powell's Manly South by John Moran Padgett Powell's recent work recognizes that straight hyper-masculinity, especially that of the southern "redneck" male, is itself "queer" and non-normative--as culturally disruptive as same-sex sexuality. Although the South is often considered the most homophobic U.S. region, in some ways we are the queerest, too. All images by Kenny Cole. "Knot," 2010. adgett Powell has a habit of saying provocative things, and one such line that struck me was, "I am gay in every way except the sex." While an undergraduate at the University of Florida, where Powell teaches creative writing, I thought he was trying to charm people like his colleague David Leavitt and myself (we are both gay, including the sex). Powell's life and fiction are hyper-masculine and southern, and it is reasonable to argue that they are not considered paragons of gay culture. At the university, he is known for filling stews with the squirrels and raccoons that try to infiltrate his chicken pen. Typical, his first story collection, is built on references to dogfighting, whorehouses, chewing tobacco, trucking pulpwood, "miscegenational pimps," guys drinking beer while picking loot out of floodwaters, and characters who think http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

“Queer Rednecks”: Padgett Powell’s Manly South

Southern Cultures , Volume 22 (3) – Oct 26, 2016

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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 .................... "Queer Rednecks" Padgett Powell's Manly South by John Moran Padgett Powell's recent work recognizes that straight hyper-masculinity, especially that of the southern "redneck" male, is itself "queer" and non-normative--as culturally disruptive as same-sex sexuality. Although the South is often considered the most homophobic U.S. region, in some ways we are the queerest, too. All images by Kenny Cole. "Knot," 2010. adgett Powell has a habit of saying provocative things, and one such line that struck me was, "I am gay in every way except the sex." While an undergraduate at the University of Florida, where Powell teaches creative writing, I thought he was trying to charm people like his colleague David Leavitt and myself (we are both gay, including the sex). Powell's life and fiction are hyper-masculine and southern, and it is reasonable to argue that they are not considered paragons of gay culture. At the university, he is known for filling stews with the squirrels and raccoons that try to infiltrate his chicken pen. Typical, his first story collection, is built on references to dogfighting, whorehouses, chewing tobacco, trucking pulpwood, "miscegenational pimps," guys drinking beer while picking loot out of floodwaters, and characters who think

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 26, 2016

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