Regional Writers - 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning' (2) Region and Class

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  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 07-06-18 14:23
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  • Regional Writers - 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning' (2) Region and Class
    • Regional novel: a (neutral) definition
      • M. H. Abrams, 'A Glossary of Literary Terms', 1999
        • 'The regional novel emphasises the setting, speech, and social structure and customs of a particular locality, not merely as local color, but as important conditions affecting the temperament of the characters and their ways of thinking, feeling, and interacting. Instances 'Yoknapatawpha County,', Mississippi, in Faulkner's.'
    • Regional and/or Working-Class?
      • Overlapping genres
      • Both seen as particular, local, circumscribed, marginalised
      • Both contain documentary elements/technique
      • However, working-class writing historically favoured non-fiction
      • Working-class writing has its own history and politics
      • Class-conscious fiction initially authored by outsiders
      • Regional fiction typically authored by insiders (native to region)
      • Today, working-class fiction has its own writers and traditions
    • Alan Sillitoe as a 'working-class' writer
      • Alan Sillitoe, 1976
        • 'The greatest inaccuracy was ever to call the book "a working-class novel" for it is really nothing of the sort. It is simply a novel, and the label given it by most reviewers at the time it came out, even the intelligent ones who should have known better, was simply a way of categorising a piece of work they weren't capable of assessing from their narrow class standpoint."
      • Sillitoe, 2003
        • 'If you know you are a unique. The notion of 'class' is a degradation, whoever uses it, or hides behind it, or complains about it.'
      • Peter Hitchcock, 1989
        • 'Sillitoe has been as insistent about writing for the working class as he has been about denying evaluations of himself as a working-class writer.'
    • Sillitoe and Class
      • Hitchcock
        • 'For now, let me reiterate that a working-class novel is distinguished not by a totality of working-class language, but by how the language styles of its narrative are articulated together.
          • 'If we propose that Alan Sillitoe writes a working-class novel in SNSM, it is not because this novel can be reduced to a single class utterance, but because of the way he juxtaposes different language styles within one and the same work.'
        • 'Class here becomes indelibly inscribed as the inner speech or consciousness of an individual. Thus, inner speech is the product of social interrelationships - of social being.'
        • 'Although [Arthur Seaton's] sensibility is not typical of the working-class as a whole (which would be the mistake of the stereotypic objectification), the language shifts and markers are certainly indicative of a class position.'
        • 'The working-class effect of such address is not to be found in the mere disagreenent of "speaker" and "listener", but in the communal understanding it generates [...]'

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