Talk:Southern Gothic

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Southern Gothic Topic Collected[edit]


i think that gothic genre is a very understandable topic. but what is it for sure? i have english homework to find out exactly what gothic genre of writing is so could somebody plz help me? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Gothic is a style and feel; in architecture it's solid, heavy, highly ornamented, and often seems dark, forbidding and cold; in literature it's more or less the same, with intricate plot twists and a damp, gloomy atmosphere. There's an emphasis on psychology and often hopeless or twisted romance. The damsel in distress is usually saved, but she and her hero are both somewhat flawed and needy. Doovinator 03:06, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Grisham's *A Painted House*[edit]

John Grisham's *A Painted House* strikes me as an interesting late addition to Southern Gothic literature. It's set in the early fifties; and written by someone a generation removed from the events described.

I think it would be hard to extend the Southern Gothic genre much past the civil rights era. With the passing of rural America, and of Southern distinctiveness, the genre appears to me to be headed toward extinction.

James Lee Burke[edit]

From the article, it would seem that James Lee Burke's novels are often southern gothic - In The Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, for example. Am I wrong?

Unencyclopedic rubbish[edit]

This article contains no sources at all and makes wild generalizations. For example, the phrase "the writer takes classic Gothic archetypes, such as the damsel in distress or the heroic knight, and portrays them in a more modern and realistic manner" is hopelessly inaccurate. Neither the damsel in distress nor the heroic knight have anything to do with Gothic literature; both are archetypes of Medieval Romances. Why not have a look at the definition of Gothic on the relevant page before coming out with such unsourced crap? Similarly, it seems disingenuous at best to describe Strange Fruit, a civil-rights protest song, as "Southern Gothic", particularly within the terms of the rather spurious definition given. More (any) citations are needed, and a bit less of such idiotic asseveration. 13:22, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree the article is poor. In addition it badly needs an historical context. When did the style emerge? Who first used the term to describe this group of writers? Did Tennessee Williams really describe his own work as Southern Gothic as is implied? --Gramscis cousin (talk) 08:43, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

CW's Supernatural TV Show[edit]

Could it fit the Southern Gothic genre? The settings is very similar to Frailty and The Gift —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Reworking Plans[edit]

The lists, especially the film lists, show few titles that could actually be Southern Gothic. Just having a story set in, or characters from, the South, does not Southern Gothic make.

I've long been disappointed in this article and will, over the next week, do what I can to fix it into something more to the point. Kirkesque (talk) 22:39, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

In researching source material, I have found the origin (or perhaps a website that copied this page, but more likely the other way round) for the entirety of this article at I've got the outline of a new article done, and will complete it--and post it--in the next couple of days. Kirkesque (talk) 03:43, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

  • The link you provided says at the bottom of the page that some of the material comes from Wikipedia. I think the best thing to do would be to find reliable sources for the material in the current page rather than doing a rewrite.Dubyavee (talk) 06:15, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I have no intentions of using what is already on the article's page. Every source I have so far is non-web material. There is so much in this article right now that has little to nothing to do with Southern Gothic that a rewrite seems to me to be the better plan. As of now, the majority of this seems to be lists of unrelated material. I'm writing the article off-line and then will post it by mid-week, me-hopes.  :) Kirkesque (talk) 20:23, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

After examining the article, I think that a rewrite of this article is very necessary. Perhaps we could agree to different sections to include, such as origins, description, evolution, etc? After that, we could edit the list of books. Things like the Twilight series should be removed with the support of the other parts of the article as they do not fulfill the real definition of Southern Gothic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pink fuzzy slippers (talkcontribs) 16:25, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
"Instead, the writer takes classic Gothic archetypes, such as the damsel in distress or the heroic knight, and portrays them in a more modern and realistic manner — transforming them into, for example, a spiteful and reclusive spinster, or a white-suited, fan-brandishing lawyer with ulterior motives."

I pulled this line from the article as one comment made above noted. We should work on a good solid definition and get rid of the wish-washy stuff. --DanielCD (talk) 01:20, 11 November 2010 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Billyshiverstick (talkcontribs)

George Garrett[edit]

The George Garrett mentioned in this article (a creative writer and faculty member at the University of Virginia, who was the Virginia Poet Laureate in 2002) is not the same George Garrett (born in England in 1902) who appears on the other end of the link. -- Dennis G. Jerz 14 Mar 2006

I took him and some other red links out for now. The article it led to didn't mention any notability as far as writing. --DanielCD 14:16, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Historical Incidents?[edit]

I think it's a pretty strange claim to make that some historical incidents fit a literary genre. Perhaps narratives of said incidents lend themselves to being depicted in a certain genre but history is history it is not a piece of literature in a particular style. Jztinfinity 05:27, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I didn't see any specifi historic events referred to. It talks about aspects of setting perhaps. What are you talking about? --DanielCD 16:43, 1 February 2007 (UTC)


I think Neil Young deserves a spot on the page for either Southernman or Alabama. He points out the same dark hypocrisy as many of the other artist metioned.


This page seems to have been largely copied from —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

    • I believe takes its info from Wikipedia, not the other way around.Dubyavee (talk) 00:27, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Flannery O'Connor[edit]

Shouldn't she be included? She seems pretty notable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:06, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

She's mentioned in the intro section. The whole article could use more work. Feel free to make improvements that you see are needed! Aleta Sing 04:46, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Removal of two films from the list[edit]

I have removed There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men. The former is set in California, and, while dark, contains few Gothic elements. The latter is set in West Texas, largely along the Mexican border. I would call it a thriller with film noir and western elements, but not Southern Gothic. I think we'd need sourcing for that claim, as it's a bit of a stretch. (talk) 21:19, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Addition of HBO show "True Blood"[edit]

Shouldn't the new HBO show "True Blood" be added to this list? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shaneke84 (talkcontribs) 14:51, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Definitely Not! Southern Gothic is not a Horror genre and has nothing to do with vampires and such. -- Gramscis cousin (talk) 09:25, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

in my mind, a work may be southern gothic, as well as horror; i don't see the two as being mutually exclusive. the show "true blood" frames vampires as a minority, and uses the language of civil rights advocates to that end. considering the place (the southern US), the parallels between racial bigotry and the the reaction toward some of the characters toward the vampires in the series are hard to deny. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Texas Chain Saw Massacre?[edit]

Look, I consider TCM one of my favorite movies, but just because an atmospheric horror takes place in the South, (or Texas), that doesn't make it "Southern Gothic"!

HandsomeSam57 (talk) 03:55, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Hey, WikiMercs[edit]

Can someone tag those novels with Category:Southern Gothic novels for me? Thanks.

Heh, I'd do it, but I am too lazy.

7h3 0N3 7h3 \/4Nl)4L5 Pl-l34R ( t / c ) 02:26, 13 April 2009 (UTC)


Any way we can weed down these long lists? I'm in favor of removing several.

Does anyone know when the term Southern Gothic was first used? --DanielCD (talk) 01:05, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Most of the music section, if not the whole thing, needs to go. Just because a band is a country/western band or is from Alabama doesn't make it have anything to do with the Southern Gothic genre. --DanielCD (talk) 01:46, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

I added a note for people to please no add any more redlinked works to the list. I may prune the list sometime soon and be very conservative, limiting to things that are very very obvious and removing anything that looks at all questionable. Without any firm criteria, we should likely only be listing works by the authors listed in the article. --DanielCD (talk) 16:39, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

I completely disagree. Even if you personally dislikethis subject, and you personaly dislike lists ... that isn't useful here unless it is against the purpose and rules of wikipedia. The issue here is that the definition is described, there is proof that this is a real phenomenon backed up by independent sources, the article faithfully describes what the subject means, there is real literary relevance to this subject and its contribution to American literature and a sociological understanding of the human condition - not to mention observable consistence in the primary examples. List will exists regardless of people liking them or not, and are useful. Southern Gothic is rare enough and specific enough to always keep the list relatively short. I do admit that the list has gotten somewhat long. But (and this is very important) if all of the stories and movies are consistent with the description of southern gothic offered, then they should remain. I think that there should possibly be an honorable mention category for some things like The Shawshank Redemption, which happened in New England but had all the trappings of southern gothic... but I do agree that No Country for Old Men, like Fargo, is really not the same sort of thing. ---Radical Mallard (talk) 23:17, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
We really won't have proper grounds for a discussion until we can decide on a definition that will give us some criteria to include or exclude. --DanielCD (talk) 18:27, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and remove "Grey Gardens" from the film list, as it's a documentary that takes place in the Northeast, and thus really not a Southern Gothic. (Robynelyse (talk) 20:29, 16 June 2011 (UTC))

Question II[edit]

Are the movies There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men southern gothic films and should they be included? -- (talk) 07:19, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

No, I don't think these would meet the criteria. --DanielCD (talk) 16:16, 12 May 2011 (UTC)


I would plead to anyone with the time and knowledge to please expand this and gather a reasonable definition. I keep wanting to, but can't find the time to research it. --DanielCD (talk) 18:26, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Winter's Bone and the Ozarks[edit]

The Ozarks is part of the South I think, geographically it is borderline south/midwest-- part of the "Old South" according to -- part of the Ozarks is in Arkansas, and the region as a whole is occasionally classed as part of the cultural south (see If we're being inclusive I'd say Winter's Bone counts as part of the genre. Additionally, see in which the reviewer classifies Winter's Bone as "Southern Goth"; the author of the novel on which it is based describes it as "semi-Southern, kinda gothic." (talk) 08:52, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Baby Doll (1956)[edit]

The heat, the mood, the melancholic futility make this film a classic Southern gothic, and should be included on the list. The Tennessee Williams story (Twenty Seven Wagons Full of Cotton) already appears in the book list. It is sometimes described as a black comedy, but it's actually heart-crushingly gothic.Mojosbigstick (talk) 06:48, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Origin of the Current Article[edit]

I wanted to clarify where the current page, as it stands on August 16, 2011 came from since there seems to be some disbelief in the originality of the article, which has resulted in repeated reverting of it.

This article was written over the course of a semester by undergraduates at a University studying the Southern Gothic subgenre in a junior level English class in the Spring of 2011. Using a class wiki, students had to add their own content in a total of three revisions, the third being the final revision by the class at large at the end of the semester. It was then edited and fleshed out by the class professor over the summer and uploaded by him.

Though the article still needs cleanup, wikification, and additional sources cited, it is, to these students and professor's best knowledge, an original work based on existing research, and should be treated as a legitimate Wikipedia contribution. It is unnecessary to revert the original page on the basis of it being copied from elsewhere, and should not be reverted on that basis (and I don't think anyone would agree that the original one paragraph version and its accompanying list was the superior entry). I would far rather see additional sources cited supporting the page's current content, and more updates to the page as it stands. I feel that this would be more productive and enriching for future study of the subject matter (as well as remaining in line with Wikipedia's content editing policies) than a full-scale revert to the old page.

Killerfritopie (talk) 03:45, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Have to agree with cobaltcigs -- it reads like unencyclopedic rubbish, bereft of citations. Wikipedia isn't the place for your professor's or your class's vanity project. You concede that it is OR -- OR that has no place here. I'd rather the bare-bones previous entry than the unverified verbiage of dubious provenance you put up. As such, I vote for reversion. (talk) 23:26, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

List is ridiculous[edit]

The list of works given is very innacurate. Softlavender (talk) 05:10, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree. To Kill A Mockingbird is southern gothic? Really? Canine virtuoso (talk) 07:01, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

The primary editor of TKAMB is exercising a lot of "ownership", and has a bee in their bonnet about academia, and terms like Southern Gothic, which TKAMB is not, and "Bildungsroman" etc etc.Billyshiverstick (talk) 02:45, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Apologies for moving stuff around[edit]

Hi OMG, it is 97 degrees here and we are all roasting. Sorry, I somehow got here from editing the To Kill A Mockingbird Talk page, which seems to mis-classify TKAMB as SGothic. I thought all these discussions were about TKAMB, and started grouping what I saw as the Southern Gothic elements that seemed to be dominating discussion. Duhhhh ! What a retard! Honestly, so sorry. I did keep the topics in order, so please forgive me, and I will go away chastened, and pray for cooler weather.  :) Billyshiverstick (talk) 02:43, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

A simple search on Google Books will turn up several critical sources that link TKAM to Southern Gothic. (talk) 21:14, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

"Linking" is not proving, and "Critical Sources" aren't always right, so I don't think we should blindly follow them, TKAMB does not have significant derelict locations, nor has it any Magic Realism, which are key elements of Southern Gothic. Truman Capote's first novel is solidly Southern Gothic, it almost defines the genre. TKAMB is a completely unique piece, it is a non-genre one-off. I really don't think we should be idly tagging things with categories unless it really adds to the knowledge, and is clearly true. Too many articles on Wikipedia are simple repeating mistakes that other people have made, because they are called "critical sources". imho. cheers — Preceding unsigned comment added by Billyshiverstick (talkcontribs) 03:52, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Ok - I tried your Google Books idea. The first four references I got were to Wiki articles, which are not good sources. These are circular references repeating mistakes. I finally found an online "article", which is actually a blog, which is not a good source, it's just somebody's opinion, and they call TKAMB SG, and then admit that TKAMB does not meet the key "supernatural" criteria, and tried to mis-label a TKAMB character as grotesque. Basically, a very thinly supported wrong opinion. Faulkner and Capote yes, but until somebody can actually build a real case for TKAMB as SG in a peer reviewed, respected journal, I say - stick to what we know.Billyshiverstick (talk) 04:00, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure how you got Wikipedia articles and blogs from a Google Books search. When you start turning up books, you'll see that the inclusion of Lee is widely endorsed. (talk) 04:50, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

This is not a list article[edit]

So why is it being written like one? (talk) 06:09, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Edgar Allen Poe[edit]

Shouldn't Edgar Allen Poe be included in this list? A Gothic author he is, certainly -- but, because he lived in Virginia, part of the American South at the time, I believe he should be considered a Southern Gothic writer. Perhaps he is one of the first Southern Gothic writers, concerned as he is with many of the same themes. - Vaylon Kenadell (talk) 10:48, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Definitely have to agree with the above - I was pretty shocked that Poe wasn't included in the article at all, because I think his work is a major source of inspiration for the genre/movement in general. (talk) 20:31, 12 March 2014 (UTC)