“I speak in what others often hear as a strange accent. My past can’t be located. I live in Buffalo, New York, an exile from the South. But these aren’t Yankee dreams, even though my past seems like a fabrication, a dreamworld in which I’m a paper character and not a historical participant, with scars from barbed wire ripping under the pressure and flying through the air like a swarm of bees, or a horse rearing up and banging its head into mine from within, exploding my forehead.” —from the Preface
Wisteria draped on a soldier’s coffin, sent home to Alabama from a Virginia battlefield. The oldest standing house in the county, painted gray and flanked by a pecan orchard. A black steel fence tool, now perched atop a pile of books like a prehistoric bird of prey. In Dreamworlds of Alabama, Allen Shelton explores physical, historical, and social landscapes of northeastern Alabama. His homeplace near the Appalachian foothills provides the setting for a rich examination of cultural practices, a place where the language of place and things resonates with as much vitality and emotional urgency as the language of humans.
Throughout the book, Shelton demonstrates how deeply culture is inscribed in the land and in the most intimate spaces of the person—places of belonging and loss, insight and memory.
Born and raised in Jacksonville, Alabama, Allen Shelton is associate professor of sociology at Buffalo State College.
About Allen SheltonSee more books from this Author
He includes numerous thick block quotations, which severely impede narrative progression, and he uses several literary heavyweights to bolster the value of his insights: Marx, Freud, Kafka, Poe, Proust—the “madeleine moment” makes several appearances, including, in one essay, an overlong quotatio...| Read Full Review of Dreamworlds of Alabama
As the informed references to Weber, Kracauer, Taussig, and other major contributors to the literature of Sociology throughout the book make abundantly clear, Shelton's sociological interest in and commitment to the dreamworlds recurrently opening up to his gaze is by no means casual.| Read Full Review of Dreamworlds of Alabama
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