Deleuze and American Literature: Affect and Virtuality in Faulkner, Wharton, Ellison and McCarthy

Overview

Deleuze and American Literature re-examines authors like Wharton, Ellison, Faulkner, and McCarthy by opening their work to the problematic and ever-evolving philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. This book questions how the idea of the human in the American novel is surrounded, penetrated, and recreated by a philosophy of the nonhuman. This groundbreaking scholarship offers a challenge to the conventional methodology of cultural studies and engages American literature with its own defining problematic. This is an ...

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Overview

Deleuze and American Literature re-examines authors like Wharton, Ellison, Faulkner, and McCarthy by opening their work to the problematic and ever-evolving philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. This book questions how the idea of the human in the American novel is surrounded, penetrated, and recreated by a philosophy of the nonhuman. This groundbreaking scholarship offers a challenge to the conventional methodology of cultural studies and engages American literature with its own defining problematic. This is an encounter from which both Deleuze and American literature are sure to emerge transformed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bourassa has written a splendid book that speaks to the deep relation of the novel as a literary form to the meaning of being...This book marks an important contribution to the growing theoretical work concerned with reading Deleuze in the context of literature and film."—Choice

Deleuze and American Literature expertly spins a unique weave of concepts for the analysis of the novel. Affect, event, force, singularity, the outside, and the virtual. These concepts interlace and vary to generate a series of refreshingly original readings of nineteenth and twentieth century authors revolving around the notion of the ‘nonhuman.’ Provocatively, it is from this notion that Bourassa draws his theory of character. The tension between the ‘humanity’ of the novelistic character and its ‘nonhuman’ conditions of literary emergence unfolds into an extended meditation on the difference between morality and ethics, playing out in particular around issues of race and gender. A masterful contribution to literary theory and the philosophy of the novel.”—Brian Massumi, University of Montreal and author of Parables for the Virtual

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230616561
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Bourassa is Associate Professor in the English Department at St Thomas University. He has published on Deleuze, Freud, and American literature.

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Table of Contents

Literature, Character, and the Human * Wharton’s Aesthetics and the Ethics of Affect * Invisible Man: Affect, History, Race * Cormac McCarthy and the Event of the Human
• The Moral Singularity: Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles and McCarthy’s Blood Meridian * Absalom, Absalom!: Time and the Virtual
• Riders of the Virtual Sage: Zane Grey, Cormac McCarthy and the Transformation of the Popular Western
• Conclusion: The Ethic of the Nonhuman

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