The Poetics of National and Racial Identity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature by John D. Kerkering | 9780521120968 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Poetics of National and Racial Identity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature

The Poetics of National and Racial Identity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature

by John D. Kerkering
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521120969

ISBN-13: 9780521120968

Pub. Date: 10/01/2009

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

John D. Kerkering's study examines the literary history of racial and national identity in nineteenth-century America. Kerkering argues that writers such as DuBois, Lanier, Simms, and Scott used poetic effects to assert the distinctiveness of certain groups in a diffuse social landscape. Kerkering explores poetry's formal properties, its sound effects, as they

Overview

John D. Kerkering's study examines the literary history of racial and national identity in nineteenth-century America. Kerkering argues that writers such as DuBois, Lanier, Simms, and Scott used poetic effects to assert the distinctiveness of certain groups in a diffuse social landscape. Kerkering explores poetry's formal properties, its sound effects, as they intersect with the issues of race and nation. He shows how formal effects, ranging from meter and rhythm to alliteration and melody, provide these writers with evidence of a collective identity, whether national or racial. Through this shared reliance on formal literary effects, national and racial identities, Kerkering shows, are related elements of a single literary history. This is the story of how poetic effects helped to define national identities in Anglo-America as a step toward helping to define racial identities within the United States. This highly original study will command a wide audience of Americanists.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521120968
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/01/2009
Series:
Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series, #139
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Poetics of National Identity: 1. 'We are five and forty': meter and national identity in Sir Walter Scott; 2. 'Our sacred union', 'our beloved Apalachia': nation and genius loci in Hawthorne and Simms; Part II. The Poetics of Racial Identity: 3. 'Of me and of mine': the music of racial identity; 4. 'Blood will tell': literary effects and the diagnosis of racial instinct; Conclusion: the conversation of identities; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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