Posts Tagged: Civil War

David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: 21 Poems That Shaped America (Pt. 15): “Southern History”

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We can’t hide from our history and we can’t pass it on to future generations. ...more

Album of the Week: To Syria, With Love by Omar Souleyman

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Before becoming one of the most praised electronic music producers of the last few years, Omar Souleyman was a successful wedding singer in his homeland Syria, with something like five hundred live albums released through 2011, the year the civil war broke in his country, forcing him to flee to Turkey, where he’s been based ever since.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #81: On Cultural Preservation

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The Lost Boys had their moment in the media, but these people, these survivors, not boys at all and not lost now either, are still here, living lives, growing and changing and thinking and reflecting. ...more

On Speaking Plainly: A Conversation with Rajith Savanadasa

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Rajith Savanadasa discusses his debut novel, Ruins, writing across oceans, and the chance encounter with refugees that led to the story at the heart of his novel. ...more

All Writing Is Political: A Conversation with Mohsin Hamid

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Mohsin Hamid discusses his new novel, Exit West, hope in fiction as a form of resistance, the necessity of learning to accept social change, and how much America and Pakistan have come to resemble each other. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #78: Conceived as a Playlist

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Shadowbahn [...] is among the most unusual, and most extreme, in a literary career that has often been marked by its unpredictability. ...more

TORCH: Growing Season

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I ask Hussein if he’s proud of the work he’s doing. He says that he is. We stop talking. For a moment, the market feels like peace. ...more

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #67: Anuradha Roy

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A tranquil beach town named Jarmuli is the setting of Anuradha Roy’s third novel, Sleeping on Jupiter, which won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and made the longlist for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. Four older women travel as friends in search of a bucolic vacation, and a young woman, contending with the trauma of her past, finds her stay in Jarmuli tied with theirs.

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The Night Wash Jones Won

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Eighty years ago, Wash Jones appeared as a minor character in William Faulkner’s masterpiece on American identity and self-invention, Absalom, Absalom! From a craft perspective Jones was put in for a purpose: to demonstrate the role that white working-class men played in maintaining white supremacy among the wealthiest people in America before the Civil War, the Southern plantation class.

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The Rumpus Review of Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation

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Parker set out to bring a different kind of “slavery movie” to audiences. And it is different. ...more

The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Pain Scale Treaties

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Perched on the shoulders of generational trauma sit these two theses: suffering begets cruelty begets suffering begets cruelty, and pain is empathy’s catalyst. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Ben H. Winters

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Ben H. Winters discusses his new novel Underground Airlines about an America where the Civil War never took place, writing speculative fiction, and modern racism. ...more

Wanted/Needed/Loved: Laura Ballance’s Ghost Stories

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There is one story that my mother used to tell me often, which has become in some ways a symbol of my childhood. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Chris Jennings

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Chris Jennings talks about his new book Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism, incremental reform, Transcendentalists, Shakers, and creating a more perfect future. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Margo Jefferson

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Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Margo Jefferson talks about her new memoir, Negroland, and about growing up in an elite black community in the segregated Chicago of the 1950s and 1960s. ...more

Remembering the Blue and the Gray

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Memorial Day is a time of both national reflection and diverse local tradition. In a piece connecting poetry and community storytelling, The Atlantic offers some literary history in observance of this past weekend’s holiday. Two years after the end of the Civil War, the magazine published Francis Miles Finch’s conciliatory poem, “The Blue and The Gray.” Finch, a northerner, was inspired to write the piece by four women in Columbus, Mississippi, who decorated the graves of deceased Confederates and Union soldiers alike in a gesture of nonpartisan respect. 

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Why the Civil War Is Still Worth Talking About

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Byliner’s list of spectacular nonfiction articles of 2012 highlights two complementary essays from the Atlantic‘s Civil War issue.

First, Yoni Appelbaum uses a hyperrealistic “cyclotron” painting of the Battle of Gettysburg as a pin to puncture the national narrative that the Union and the Confederacy were equally noble, and that veterans from both sides had only to recognize their mutual heroism to become “comrades.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates takes on the same battle and the same narrative (as well as the same Faulkner passage) from a different perspective.

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Burns Gets Burned

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Remember all those VHS tapes that added up to a compendium of everlasting Civil War knowledge?

It turns out Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary series isn’t entirely accurate, but in fact, “deeply misleading and reductive.” This may feel like a betrayal for those of us who were weaned on his sentimental historical depictions, or mesmerized by the zooming in and out of battle scene paintings.

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“Pastor Witherspoon Goes to War”

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I’ve been an ardent follower of the NY Times Disunion blog almost since it started. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the Times is reliving the Civil War in a sense, offering a day by day discussion of the war through the eyes of the people who lived it, offering access to not only the famous figures we learned of in history books, but also those whose stories haven’t gotten the same level of attention, like that of Pastor Dwight Witherspoon.

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