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Experiments in Realism: Doubling in Simms's The Cassique of Kiawah

Experiments in Realism: Doubling in Simms's The Cassique of Kiawah Experiments in Realism: Doubling in Simms’s The Cassique of Kiawah by Kevin Collins “Nobody invented realism; it came.” —William Dean Howells, “European Masters: Armando Palacio Valdés” The critical debate regarding whether William Gilmore Simms is primarily a romanticist or a realist rages across generations and is ably summarized by John Caldwell Guilds in his biography, Simms: A L iterary Life.With ample quotations from Simms to bolster arguments made by both sides, Guilds presents the views of William Peterfield Trent, “who believed that Simms’s best work followed the romantic traditions of Scott and Cooper” (338 – 339), and Vernon L. Parrington “who insisted that Simms was at his best ... [when] depicting life as it really was, not as it should be” (339). While Guilds concludes that “the crux is that Simms the writer defies classification” (340), the fact is that critics will continue in their attempts to classify him, and that these attempts will likely always say more about the critics and their proclivities than they will about Simms and his. A particular chronological aspect of the realist/romanticist dichotomy, though, is demonstrable: Simms relied far more heavily on romantic con- vention early in his career that he did later http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Experiments in Realism: Doubling in Simms's The Cassique of Kiawah

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 34 (2) – Jun 1, 2002

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

Experiments in Realism: Doubling in Simms’s The Cassique of Kiawah by Kevin Collins “Nobody invented realism; it came.” —William Dean Howells, “European Masters: Armando Palacio Valdés” The critical debate regarding whether William Gilmore Simms is primarily a romanticist or a realist rages across generations and is ably summarized by John Caldwell Guilds in his biography, Simms: A L iterary Life.With ample quotations from Simms to bolster arguments made by both sides, Guilds presents the views of William Peterfield Trent, “who believed that Simms’s best work followed the romantic traditions of Scott and Cooper” (338 – 339), and Vernon L. Parrington “who insisted that Simms was at his best ... [when] depicting life as it really was, not as it should be” (339). While Guilds concludes that “the crux is that Simms the writer defies classification” (340), the fact is that critics will continue in their attempts to classify him, and that these attempts will likely always say more about the critics and their proclivities than they will about Simms and his. A particular chronological aspect of the realist/romanticist dichotomy, though, is demonstrable: Simms relied far more heavily on romantic con- vention early in his career that he did later

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 1, 2002

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