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Calypso MagnoliaThe Crosscurrents of Caribbean and Southern Literature$
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John Wharton Lowe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628882

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628882.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

Crossing the Caribbean

Crossing the Caribbean

Southerners Write the Mexican American War

(p.21) 1 Crossing the Caribbean
Calypso Magnolia

John Wharton Lowe

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter rehearses the myriad ways in which the U.S. Mexican War brought about a new awareness of the Caribbean on the part of Southern combatants, who crossed its waters and experienced its cultures, which seemed both strange and familiar. U.S. concepts of Mexico - many of them drawn from Prescott’s monumental The Conquest of Mexico - are examined, alongside a portrayal of the ways in which the doctrine of manifest destiny shaped and influenced both the conduct of the war and modes of describing it. Mention is made of many of the writers who wrote about the war, many of whom never went to Mexico. The chapter builds to a reading of two military memories by Raphael Semmes and Arthur Manigualt, and concludes with a presentation of Colonel William C. Falkner’s sensationist novel, The Spanish Heroine, which influenced the Colonel’s great-grandson, William Faulkner. The concept of the “tropical sublime” receives a full illustration here.

Keywords:   U.S. Mexican War, tropical sublime, military memoirs, novels of sensation, manifest destiny, sexual stereotyping

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