The Genuine Article: Race, Mass Culture, and American Literary Manhood

The Genuine Article: Race, Mass Culture, and American Literary Manhood

by Paul Gilmore, Gilmore
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822327643

ISBN-13: 9780822327646

Pub. Date: 11/28/2001

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

In The Genuine Article Paul Gilmore examines the interdependence of literary and mass culture at a crucial moment in U. S. history. Demonstrating from a new perspective the centrality of race to the construction of white manhood across class lines, Gilmore argues that in the years before the Civil War, as literature increasingly became another commodity in

Overview

In The Genuine Article Paul Gilmore examines the interdependence of literary and mass culture at a crucial moment in U. S. history. Demonstrating from a new perspective the centrality of race to the construction of white manhood across class lines, Gilmore argues that in the years before the Civil War, as literature increasingly became another commodity in the capitalist cultural marketplace, American authors appropriated middle-brow and racially loaded cultural forms to bolster their masculinity.
From characters in Indian melodramas and minstrel shows to exhibits in popular museums and daguerrotype galleries, primitive racialized figures circulated as “the genuine article” of manliness in the antebellum United States. Gilmore argues that these figures were manipulated, translated, and adopted not only by canonical authors such as Hawthorne, Thoreau, Cooper, and Melville but also by African American and Native American writers like William Wells Brown and Okah Tubbee. By examining how these cultural notions of race played out in literary texts and helped to construct authorship as a masculine profession, Gilmore makes a unique contribution to theories of class formation in nineteenth-century America.
The Genuine Article will enrich students and scholars of American studies, gender studies, literature, history, sociology, anthropology, popular culture, and race.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822327646
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
11/28/2001
Series:
New Americanists
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Illustrations....................vii
Acknowledgments....................ix
Introduction....................1
Prologue: Staging Manhood, Writing Manhood: Cultural Authority and the Indian Body....................21
1 "De Genewine Artekil": William Wells Brown, Blackface Minstrelsy, and Abolitionism....................37
2 The Indian in the Museum: Henry David Thoreau, Okah Tubbee, and Authentic Manhood....................67
3 A "Rara Avis in Terris": Poe's "Hop-Frog" and Race in the Antebellum Freak Show....................98
4 Inward Criminality and the Shadow of Race: The House of the Seven Gables and Daguerreotypy....................125
Epilogue: Electric Chains....................151
Notes....................157
Bibliography....................241
Index....................267

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