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The White Trash Menace and Hemispheric Fiction

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The White Trash Menace and Hemispheric Fiction uncovers a rich archive of “white trash” fiction in the Caribbean and its surrounding regions. After the abolition of slavery, affluent white planters underwent a period of identity crisis where wealth no longer maintained their privileges, and yet they did not belong to the group of newly freed peoples. Ramón E. Soto-Crespo analyzes the literary legacy of those who came under the label of “white trash.” This book argues that during the mid-twentieth century, “white trash” started off as a trope in pulp fiction and subsequently became absorbed into what we now think of as canonical literature. In The White Trash Menace, Soto-Crespo pairs novels from William Faulkner and Jean Rhys with pulp authors such as Edgar Mittelholzer and Kyle Onstott in order to provide an alternate account of the literary development of race and class in the Americas. Together these works constitute a circum-Atlantic, white-trash world of letters: a hemispheric network of decapitalized whiteness that challenges how we imagine literary history by departing from nation-based models of aesthetic development. By providing a genealogy of literary circulation, The White Trash Menace likewise challenges conventional understandings of “white trash,” and more broadly challenges our understanding of literature, class, and race in the Americas.

ISBN-13: 9780814255681

Media Type: Paperback(1)

Publisher: Ohio State University Press

Publication Date: 01-31-2020

Pages: 212

Product Dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Ramón E. Soto Crespo is Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and author of Mainland Passage: The Cultural Anomaly of Puerto Rico.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction White Trash, Decapitalization, and Literary Circulation

Chapter 1 Faulkner’s “Porto Rico”: Circulation, White Trash, and the Caribbean

Chapter 2 Circum-Atlantic Trash: Despised Forms and Postwar Caribbean Fiction

Chapter 3 Trash Travels: White Cockroaches in Circum-Atlantic Literature

Chapter 4 Archipelagoes of White Debt: Indentured Trash in Circum-Atlantic Fiction

Postscript Hemispheric Trash: A Cultural Paradox

Appendix Writers of Trash Fiction

Bibliography

Index