The Global Remapping of American Literature [NOOK Book]

Overview

This book charts how the cartographies of American literature as an institutional category have varied radically across different times and places. Arguing that American literature was consolidated as a distinctively nationalist entity only in the wake of the U.S. Civil War, Paul Giles identifies this formation as extending until the beginning of the Reagan presidency in 1981. He contrasts this with the more amorphous boundaries of American culture in the eighteenth century, and with ways in which conditions of ...

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The Global Remapping of American Literature

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Overview

This book charts how the cartographies of American literature as an institutional category have varied radically across different times and places. Arguing that American literature was consolidated as a distinctively nationalist entity only in the wake of the U.S. Civil War, Paul Giles identifies this formation as extending until the beginning of the Reagan presidency in 1981. He contrasts this with the more amorphous boundaries of American culture in the eighteenth century, and with ways in which conditions of globalization at the turn of the twenty-first century have reconfigured the parameters of the subject.

In light of these fluctuating conceptions of space, Giles suggests new ways of understanding the shifting territory of American literary history. ranging from Cotton Mather to David Foster Wallace, and from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to Zora Neale Hurston. Giles considers why European medievalism and Native American prehistory were crucial to classic nineteenth-century authors such as Emerson, Hawthorne, and Melville. He discusses how twentieth-century technological innovations, such as air travel, affected representations of the national domain in the texts of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. And he analyzes how regional projections of the South and the Pacific Northwest helped to shape the work of writers such as William Gilmore Simms, José Martí, Elizabeth Bishop, and William Gibson.

Bringing together literary analysis, political history, and cultural geography, The Global Remapping of American Literature reorients the subject for the transnational era.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
In this richly provocative study, Giles posits a protean map of the American imagination.
Review of English Studies
Paul Giles can arguably be considered one of the most significant non-host nation scholars of American writing and culture active today and, consequently is among the first rank of academic literary critics in the current moment. His recent The Global Remapping of American Literature simply stands as one of the high water marks for literary criticism in 2011 so far, and, despite Giles' continuing productivity, ought to be recognized as a career-marking bravura work of skilled reorganization of the field of American Studies itself.
— Stephen Shapiro
Review of English Studies - Stephen Shapiro
Paul Giles can arguably be considered one of the most significant non-host nation scholars of American writing and culture active today and, consequently is among the first rank of academic literary critics in the current moment. His recent The Global Remapping of American Literature simply stands as one of the high water marks for literary criticism in 2011 so far, and, despite Giles' continuing productivity, ought to be recognized as a career-marking bravura work of skilled reorganization of the field of American Studies itself.
Symploke - Guy Risko
The Global Remapping of American Literature was the first work from Paul Giles that I had the opportunity to read—it alone broadened my perspective on the work of the critic within the ever-shifting world of American literary studies.
From the Publisher

Honorable Mention for the 2012 BAAS Book Prize, British Association of American Studies

Shortlisted for the 2012 American Studies Network Prize

"In this richly provocative study, Giles posits a protean map of the American imagination."--Choice

"Paul Giles can arguably be considered one of the most significant non-host nation scholars of American writing and culture active today and, consequently is among the first rank of academic literary critics in the current moment. His recent The Global Remapping of American Literature simply stands as one of the high water marks for literary criticism in 2011 so far, and, despite Giles' continuing productivity, ought to be recognized as a career-marking bravura work of skilled reorganization of the field of American Studies itself."--Stephen Shapiro, Review of English Studies

"The Global Remapping of American Literature was the first work from Paul Giles that I had the opportunity to read--it alone broadened my perspective on the work of the critic within the ever-shifting world of American literary studies."--Guy Risko, Symploke

"The Global Remapping of American Literature is, as has come to be expected of the work of Paul Giles, an excellent addition to the field of American studies. . . . Giles writes with the inevitable authority of a scholar whose critical achievements are consolidated by this latest work."--Theresa Saxon, Years Work in English Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400836512
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/3/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 344
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Paul Giles is the Challis Professor of English at the University of Sydney. His many books include "Atlantic Republic" and "Virtual Americas".
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The Deterritorialization of American Literature 1

Part One: Temporal Latitudes
Chapter 1: Augustan American Literature: An Aesthetics of Extravagance 29
Restoration Legacies: Cook and Byrd 29
The Plantation Epic: Magnalia Christi Americana 42
New World Topographies: Wheatley, Dwight, Alsop 55
Chapter 2: Medieval American Literature: Antebellum Narrativesand the "Map of the Infinite" 70
Emerson, Longfellow, and the Longue Durée 70
"Medieval" Mound Builders and the Archaeological Imagination 86
Hawthorne, Melville, and the Question of Genealogy 97

Part Two: The Boundaries of the Nation
Chapter 3: The Arcs of Modernism: Geography as Allegory 111
Postbellum Cartographies: William Dean Howells 111
Ethnic Palimpsests, National Standards 120
"Description without Place": Stevens, Stein, and Modernist Geographies 125
Chapter 4: Suburb, Network, Homeland: National Spaceand the Rhetoric of Broadcasting 141
"Voice of America": Roth, Morrison, DeLillo 141
Lost in Space: John Updike 154
The MTV Generation: Wallace and Eggers 161

Part Three: Spatial Longitudes
Chapter 5: Hemispheric Parallax: South Americaand the American South 183
Rotating Perspectives: Bartram, Simms, Martí 183
Regionalism and Pseudo-geography: Hurston and Bishop 199
Mississippi Vulgate: Faulkner and Barthelme 212
Chapter 6: Metaregionalism: The Global Pacific Northwest 223
Reversible Coordinates: The Epistemology of Space 223
Orient and Orientation: Snyder, Le Guin, Brautigan 232
Virtual Canadas: Gibson and Coupland 242
Conclusion: American Literature and theQuestion of Circumference 255

Works Cited 269
Index 305

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