Transfiguring America: Myth, Ideology and Mourning in Margaret Fuller's Writing

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$41.13
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $31.10
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 37%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $31.10   
  • New (2) from $42.10   
  • Used (6) from $31.10   

Overview

Transfiguring America is the product of more than ten years of research and numerous published articles on Margaret Fuller, arguably America's first feminist theorist and one of the most important woman writers in the nineteenth century. Focusing on Fuller's development of a powerful language that paired cultural critique with mythmaking, Steele shows why her writing had such a vital impact on the woman's rights movement and modern conceptions of gender.

This groundbreaking study pays special attention to the ways in which Fuller's feminist consciousness and social theory emerged out of her mourning for herself and others, her dialogue with Emersonian Transcendentalism, and her eclectic reading in occult and mythical sources. Transfiguring America is the first book to provide detailed analyses of all of Fuller's major texts, including her mystical Dial essays, correspondence with Emerson, Summer on the Lakes, 1844 poetry, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, and New York Tribune essays written both in New York and Europe.

Starting from her own profound sense of loss as a marginalized woman, Fuller eventually recognized the ways in which the foundational myths of American society, buttressed by conservative religious ideologies, replicated dysfunctional images of manhood and womanhood. With Woman in the Nineteenth Century, after exploring the roots of oppression in her essays and poetry, Fuller advanced the cause of woman's rights by conceptualizing a more fluid and equitable model of gender founded upon the mythical reconfiguration of human potential. But as her horizons expanded, Fuller demanded not only political equality for women, but also emotional, intellectual, and spiritual freedom for all victims of social oppression.

By the end of her career, Steele shows, Fuller had blended personal experience and cultural critique into the imaginative reconstruction of American society. Beginning with a fervent belief in personal reform, she ended her career with the apocalyptic conviction that the dominant myths both of selfhood and national identity must be transfigured. Out of the ashes of personal turmoil and political revolution, she looked for the phoenix of a revitalized society founded upon the ideal of political justice.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Jeffrey Steele's Transfiguring America is one of the most original, brilliant, and important scholarly books it has ever been my pleasure to read. Steele brings us the profound account of Margaret Fuller's achievement that she has deserved, but not received, since her death 150 years ago, an account sensitive to the depth of her psychic pain, alert to the complexity of her sublimation, and receptive to the boldness of her feminist vision."—Larry J. Reynolds, editor of Woman in the Nineteenth Century

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826213464
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 8/6/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Steele is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of The Representation of the Self in the American Renaissance and The Essential Margaret Fuller.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Idolatry, Mourning, and Ideology 1
1 Escaping from Rome: Ideological Resistance and Mythmaking in the "Autobiographical Romance" 25
2 Visions of (Di)Anna: Finding "the Oracle in Woman" 47
3 Lunar Flowers: Exploring the Diving Feminine 65
4 Pursuing "Leila": The Languages of the Goddess 83
5 Creating Harmony: Psychological Mythmaking in "The Great Lawsuit" 105
6 Charting Disharmony: The Flawed Literary Personae of Summer on the Lakes 135
7 Soul "Swathed in Body": Grief, Rebirth, and Transformation in the 1844 Poetry 167
8 Saving Iphigenia: The Cultural Work of Woman in the Nineteenth Century 209
9 Re-Forming the Social Body: Molding Public Attention in New York 228
10 Phoenix Rising: The Transfiguration of Italy (and America) 262
Bibliography 295
Index 311
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)