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World War I and Southern Modernism$
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David A. Davis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496815415

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496815415.001.0001

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World War II and Southern Modernity

(p.179) Conclusion
World War I and Southern Modernism
David A. Davis
University Press of Mississippi

World War I brought southerners into contact with modernity at a distance, but World War II brought modernity to the South. The inherent tension between the South’s rural, agricultural social structure and the urbanizing, industrializing processes of modernity generated a distinctive form of distal modernism in the work of southern writers after World War I. After World War II, however, the South itself began modernizing, becoming more urban and more industrial and leading many southerners to adopt mainstream American social practices. As the South became a proximal site of modernity, it became less distinctive as a region, southern identity became a less stable construction, and southern literature became more consistent with mainstream American literature.

Keywords:   World War I, World War II, Modernization, Modernism, Southern literature

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