1. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Racism in fiction

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by TheSerpantofNar, Aug 15, 2012.

    So I wanted to know other's opinion's on racism used in fiction and in settings I recently used it in a short story i wrote in the Southern Gothic genre I know its controversial. Subject wise as is the use of graphic violence in fiction today I just want to know opinion's on it.
     
  2. Warp Zone
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    Warp Zone Contributing Member

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    I try not to worry about controversy, unless you're just shoving it in for the sake of it with no connection to the plot. But even the "shoving it in" rule doesn't apply because the southern U.S.'s role in racism and slavery is pretty well established; it'd be odd to not see any in it.
     
  3. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Well for me in reading some Southern Gothic fiction "A good man is hard to find" comes to mind its pretty blatantly there but I figured if your going to be true to the genre or place it must be there. I tend to use it for ironic and darkly humored subtext about the south in general. Cause it is still present down in the south and I remember certain friends saying racist things pretty often its kind of like its entrenched in the south the deep south in particular but it can be used to say things about the culture in the south. Which I try to do i don't really have a issue addressing racism,violence or depravity maybe thats bad lol i don't know I don't like skimping on it if its part of the story or deep in the culture you know. Im thinking of another short story right now that will address another subject that will also be Southern Gothic in nature
     
  4. ThievingSix
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    ThievingSix Member

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    Have a look at this thread

    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=54834

    If your going to have a racist character, it needs to be clear that the character themselves is racist and that it is their own voice. A racist author really comes through in the poor construction of diverse characters. E.g. they will often depict a idealistic blond, pale skinned German with beautiful dialogue, but refer to a Jewish person in a derogatory sense constantly. This is particularly evident when the narrator themselves in racist.

    It really depends on what your goal is in presenting the story. Are you trying to deliver a message? or is it simply a reflection of the authors insecurities. In a short story format you should really be trying to deliver a sharp message if your going to deal with the issue of racism.
     
  5. dlaiden
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    dlaiden New Member

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    It's hardly controversial if set in a time and place where such things were common place. Having racist characters in the pre-Civil Rights south of America, or apartheid South Africa isn't going to surprise or shock anybody. But as previously mentioned, if you're including a racist character in a modern era just for the shock factor, or if you are a racist yourself and it shows, well... >.>
     
  6. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    What?? Actually its very up to interpretation as to weather it is recent times or not it could indeed be one or the other. Racism in some forms of fiction is indeed complicated and often complex in its nature to the reader Southern Gothic fiction uses it to talk about the idea's and culture of the south. Southern Gothic fiction uses besides racism is violence among other disturbing content Cormac
    McCarthy uses is often depraved settings,murder,revenge ect. But he is one of my favorite Authors the one book that was indeed hard to read of his was Blood Meridian due to its constant brutality and bloodshed and other nasty depraved acts of violence.
     

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