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  • Publié le : 2 juin 2010
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A tale of Southern Defiance and Dissent.

The South produced the Grotesque not only as a literary tool but also by cultural reality. The Grotesque, by revealing the absurdities of existence and thestrangeness of the familiar forms a counterculture that challenges established norms. The Grotesque has things in common with a deconstructive project in a Derridean meaning, because it perceives anddisrupts categories and hierarchies of social life. The grotesque body is, in particular, a significant example of these transgressions. In the first part, we will show that the Grotesque expresses adissent and in the second parts examples from southern literature and cinema will illustrate theses affirmations.
The study of representation of the body in the Grotesque provides a good entry toshow how the Grotesque performs non conformism because the body in Southern culture structures the matrices of power. As Patricia Yaeger resumes it, the southern grotesque bodies are “emblems of theregion’s incarcerating ideologies of race, class and gender” but also “the emblems of the inevitable disruption and eventual dissolution of those ideologies”. The cruelty of the Grotesque is a way totear at the social fabric. For example, the southern gargantua is a figure of rebellion against the fragility usually associated with southern women’s bodies. In the same idea, black bodies are used forfiguring either an alternative aesthetical canon or the southern culture of torture. Indeed, the Grotesque with its excess and exaggeration is also a shout facing the political silence of thesouthern system. The body talk that uses the Grotesque performs the unsaid of the southern society. The transgression of the Grotesque builds an anti-world in the face of an established orthodoxy. But itturns also out the spiritual incompleteness of the southern society and brings thus the moral orthodoxies back into this one. This contesting force operates on the reader’s consciousness trough the...