Saturday, February 13, 2010

Podcast Appalachia: Appalachian Literature


An aspect of Appalachian society that is sometimes overlooked is literature. Although it does not always get the attention it deserves, Appalachia has produced a significant body of literature. Although these works are sometimes lumped into the general category of Southern Literature, Appalachian literature is unique. In contrast to the more general genre of Southern literature, Appalachian literature usually not concentrated on North-South conflicts, which is also a characteristic of the Appalachian region at large.

Appalachian literature is also unique in that it’s very centered around the setting of the stories. The setting is usually viewed as an influence on the motivations and values of the characters involved. This fact has led some observers to diminish the literature as “regional,” but in reality it gives rare insight into the values and culture of a particular time and place. Literature in general is best when it reveals great truths, and Appalachian literature is certainly very good at this.

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