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Comics and the U.S. South$
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Brannon Costello and Qiana J. Whitted

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617030185

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617030185.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

A Visitation of Narratives

A Visitation of Narratives

Dialogue and Comics in Randall Kenan’s A Visitation of Spirits

(p.269) A Visitation of Narratives
Comics and the U.S. South

Alison Mandaville

University Press of Mississippi

In his 2007 book The Fire This Time, North Carolina author Randall Kenan associates comics with sex and sin. This relationship is evident in his postmodern prose novel A Visitation of Spirits (1989), where Horace Cross, a gay African American teenager in a conservative religious community, struggles to articulate what he feels is the consummate sin of his queer sexual desires. This chapter examines A Visitation of Spirits and the protagonist’s attempts to imagine an alternative way of being in the world, suggesting the dense imbrication of visual and oral cultures of the South. It provides an overview of the connection between comics and oral literature within the framework of Kenan’s novel and the way orality remains a powerful marker by which to characterize southern literature.

Keywords:   comics, Randall Kenan, sex, sin, Visitation of Spirits, South, oral literature, orality, southern literature

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