Declaring Independence: Jefferson, Natural Language, and the Culture of Performance / Edition 1

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Overview


“From the simple fact that Jefferson’s text was intended to be read aloud as a literal declaration of political independence, Fliegelman has woven a truly brilliant picture of Jefferson, the document, and American politics and letters. . . . The result is a profoundly exciting new way of understanding the Declaration, its author, and the performative act of the Revolution itself.”—Isaac Kramnick, Cornell University.
“Will more or less immediately transform current study of 18th-century American literature and culture.”—Mitchell Breitwieser, University of California, Berkeley.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“From the simple fact that Jefferson’s text was intended to be read aloud as a literal declaration of political independence, Fliegelman has woven a truly brilliant picture of Jefferson, the document, and American politics and letters. . . . The result is a profoundly exciting new way of understanding the Declaration, its author, and the performative act of the Revolution itself.”—Isaac Kramnick, Cornell University.

“Will more or less immediately transform current study of 18th-century American literature and culture.”—Mitchell Breitwieser, University of California, Berkeley.

“Such a deft blending of careful accessibility and intellectual sophistication that it will be useful and compelling to a range of scholars, from undergraduates to professors of English, history, and political science.”—Mitchell Breitwieser, University of California, Berkeley.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804720762
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1993
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Jefferson's Pauses 4
The Elocutionary Revolution 28
Soft Compulsion 35
Harmonies: Homer, Fugues, and Chairs 63
Natural Theatricality 79
The Figure of Patrick Henry 94
Social Leveling and Stage Fright 107
Private Lives and Public Scrutiny 120
Agency and the Invention of Responsibility 140
Dialectical Words 150
Plagiarism, Authorship, and Improvement 164
The Oratorical Ideal, Racial Politics, and the Making of Americans 189
Epilogue 196
Appendix: The Declaration 203
Notes 211
Works Cited 239
Index 255
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