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Faulkner and Welty and the Southern Literary Tradition$
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Noel Polk

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781934110843

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781934110843.001.0001

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The Ponderable Heart

The Ponderable Heart

(p.186) The Ponderable Heart
Faulkner and Welty and the Southern Literary Tradition

Noel Polk

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter offers a reading of Eudora Welty’s novel Ponder Heart, arguing that it is her oddest book and that it is a deliberate collection of every tawdry cliché of southern literature. It contends that the novel does not feel like parody because it does not protect itself through the distances of irony which characterize modernist narratives. The chapter also considers a scene from one of Welty’s earliest short stories, “Magic”—the image of the family in their living room—and, finally, examines how Welty presents some grimmer realities about domestic violence.

Keywords:   domestic violence, Eudora Welty, Ponder Heart, southern literature, parody, Magic, family

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