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Title: Ghosts Along the Mississippi: Clarence John Laughlin and the Southern Gothic (Forthcoming)
Authors: Jones, Timothy
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Editors: Bacon, S
Citation: Jones T (2018) Ghosts Along the Mississippi: Clarence John Laughlin and the Southern Gothic (Forthcoming). In: Bacon S (ed.). A Gothic Reader, Oxford: Peter Lang.
Keywords: Clarence John Laughlin
Southern Gothic
plantation houses
New Orleans
William Faulkner
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: First paragraph: Although Clarence John Laughlin has been described as ‘Edgar Allan Poe with a camera’ (Kukla 5), he is not especially well-known within Gothic studies. Laughlin produced a body of work that documents his native New Orleans, Louisiana and occasionally, further afield. He is best known for his book of photographs and accompanying essays, Ghosts Along the Mississippi, first published in 1948, which documents the abandoned plantation houses that had been built along the river. The success of the book – which ran to several printings over more than ten years – was a small redress for Laughlin, who, in his artistic prime, struggled to maintain a reputation in photographic circles, perhaps in part due to his abrasive personal style, but also because of his insistence that his photography be accompanied by his often voluminous textual interpretations, a practice often regarded by his peers as a grotesque disruption of his photography (Meek 25).
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