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Caroline Gordon’s Ghosts: The Women on the Porch as Southern Gothic Literature

Caroline Gordon’s Ghosts: The Women on the Porch as Southern Gothic Literature Caroline Gordon’s Ghosts: The Women on the Porch as Southern Gothic Literature by Tanfer Emin Tunc Soon after its publication in 1944, Caroline Gordon’s The Women on the Por ch — her sixth novel — generated two reviews in The New York Times. The first, by Orville Prescott, noted that the novel’s dust jacket depicted “the fig - ure of a young woman fleeing from the nameless terrors of a dark forest,” and that the “encircling gloom that menaces her . . . billows and eddies through the pages of [the] cryptic and peculiar novel” (17). Prescott also conveyed that Gor- don’s latest work wandered “through a series of spirals and convolutions of time and place and thought, slipping from the stream of consciousness of one char- acter to that of another, from Tennessee to New York, from the present to the past” (17). The result was an “elusive [and] haunting,” “taut and twisted,” work that like the novels of “a number of her fellow Southern[ers]” shared “a preoccu- pation with death and decay and destruction . . . [While] she does not engage in the ghoulish melodramatics of Faulkner . . . her sense of doom and frustra- http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Caroline Gordon’s Ghosts: The Women on the Porch as Southern Gothic Literature

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 46 (1) – Feb 13, 2014

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

Caroline Gordon’s Ghosts: The Women on the Porch as Southern Gothic Literature by Tanfer Emin Tunc Soon after its publication in 1944, Caroline Gordon’s The Women on the Por ch — her sixth novel — generated two reviews in The New York Times. The first, by Orville Prescott, noted that the novel’s dust jacket depicted “the fig - ure of a young woman fleeing from the nameless terrors of a dark forest,” and that the “encircling gloom that menaces her . . . billows and eddies through the pages of [the] cryptic and peculiar novel” (17). Prescott also conveyed that Gor- don’s latest work wandered “through a series of spirals and convolutions of time and place and thought, slipping from the stream of consciousness of one char- acter to that of another, from Tennessee to New York, from the present to the past” (17). The result was an “elusive [and] haunting,” “taut and twisted,” work that like the novels of “a number of her fellow Southern[ers]” shared “a preoccu- pation with death and decay and destruction . . . [While] she does not engage in the ghoulish melodramatics of Faulkner . . . her sense of doom and frustra-

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 13, 2014

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