American Palestine: Melville, Twain, and the Holy Land Mania

Overview

In the nineteenth century, American tourists, scholars, evangelists, writers, and artists flocked to Palestine as part of a "Holy Land mania." Many saw America as a New Israel, a modern nation chosen to do God's work on Earth, and produced a rich variety of inspirational art and literature about their travels in the original promised land, which was then part of Ottoman-controlled Palestine. In American Palestine, Hilton Obenzinger explores two "infidel texts" in this tradition: Herman Melville's Clarel: A Poem ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $18.69   
  • New (5) from $21.98   
  • Used (3) from $18.69   
Sending request ...

Overview

In the nineteenth century, American tourists, scholars, evangelists, writers, and artists flocked to Palestine as part of a "Holy Land mania." Many saw America as a New Israel, a modern nation chosen to do God's work on Earth, and produced a rich variety of inspirational art and literature about their travels in the original promised land, which was then part of Ottoman-controlled Palestine. In American Palestine, Hilton Obenzinger explores two "infidel texts" in this tradition: Herman Melville's Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (1876) and Mark Twain's The Innocents Abroad: or, The New Pilgrims' Progress (1869). As he shows, these works undermined in very different ways conventional assumptions about America's divine mission.

In the darkly philosophical Clarel, Melville found echoes of Palestine's apparent desolation and ruin in his own spiritual doubts and in America's materialism and corruption. Twain's satiric travelogue, by contrast, mocked the romantic naiveté of Americans abroad, noting the incongruity of a "fantastic mob" of "Yanks" in the Holy Land and contrasting their exalted notions of Palestine with its prosaic reality. Obenzinger demonstrates, however, that Melville and Twain nevertheless shared many colonialist and orientalist assumptions of the day, revealed most clearly in their ideas about Arabs, Jews, and Native Americans.

Combining keen literary and historical insights and careful attention to the context of other American writings about Palestine, this book throws new light on the construction of American identity in the nineteenth century.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Nineteenth-Century Literature
American Palestine is an incisive, well-informed, and consistently engaging book.
— Robert Milder
Nineteenth-Century Literature - Robert Milder
American Palestine is an incisive, well-informed, and consistently engaging book.
From the Publisher
"American Palestine is an incisive, well-informed, and consistently engaging book."—Robert Milder, Nineteenth-Century Literature
Nineteenth-Century Literature
American Palestine is an incisive, well-informed, and consistently engaging book.
— Robert Milder
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691009735
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 10/25/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,212,247
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: Manias and Materialities ix
Acknowledgments xix
PART ONE: Excavating American Palestine
Chapter One Holy Lands and Settler Identities 3
Chapter Two George Sandys: "Double Travels" and Colonial Encounters 14
Chapter Three "Christianography" and Covenant 24
Chapter Four Reading and Writing Sacred Geography 39
PART Two: "The Fatal Embrace of the Deity": Herman Melville's Pilgrimage to Failure in Clarel
Chapter Five "A Profound Remove": Annihilation and Covenant 63
Chapter Six "That Strange Pervert": The Puritan Zionist 84
Chapter Seven "The Great Jewish Counterfeit Detector": Warder Cresson, "Carnal" Hermeneutics, and Zion's Body 114
Chapter Eight Ungar "His Way Eccentric": The Confederate Cherokee's Map of Palestine 138
PART THREE: The Guilties Abroad: Mark Twain's Comic Appropriation of the Holy Land in Innocents Abroad
Chapter Nine Authority and Authenticity 161
Chapter Ten The Jaffa Colonists and Other Failures 177
Chapter Eleven "A White Man So Nervous and Uncomfortable and Savage" 190
Chapter Twelve "Rejected Gospels": The Boyhood of Jesus 198
Chapter Thirteen Reverence and Race 216
Chapter Fourteen The "Cultivated Negro" and the Curse of Ham 227
Chapter Fifteen Desolating Narrations: Tom Sawyer's Crusade 248
Chapter Sixteen Desolating Narrations: "Der Jude Mark Twain" 262
Notes 275
Index 311

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)