Cohesion and Dissent in America

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Carol Colatrella, Joseph Alkana
SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1994 - Fiction - 252 pages
This book addresses one of the most important theories to arise in recent American literary scholarship. Developed over the past two decades, Sacvan Bercovitch s ideas about the relationship of American cultural institutions to voices of dissent have repeatedly posed challenges to pervasive assumptions about American culture and the methods used by cultural critics and literary historians. The contributors to this book respond to different aspects of Bercovitch s ideas by exploring a wide range of scholarly disciplines, including American, Chicano, Amerindian, African-American, Asian-American, feminist, comparatist, philosophical, legal, and critical studies. In addition to essays that focus on the theoretical backgrounds and implications of Bercovitch s concepts, this book interrogates the uses of those concepts in the study of American literatures. Works by a variety of American writers are analyzed: the Colonial poet Phillis Wheatly; nineteenth-century writers Hawthorne and Melville; modernists Pound and Eliot; contemporary authors John Barth, Norman Mailer, Arturo Islas, and John Yau; and philosophers William James and Stanley Cavell. This book offers new directions to students of American culture, while it participates in the ongoing reassessment of American cultural and literary scholarship.
 

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Contents

Discovering America A CrossCultural Perspective
3
Jewish Critics and American Literature The Case of Sacvan Bercovitch
31
Sacvan Bercovitch Stanley Cavell and the Romance Theory of American Fiction
48
Establishing Modernist Traditions of Dissent
75
T S Eliots American DissentDescent
77
Work on Truth in America The Example of William James
95
The Orient as Pretext for Aesthetic and Cultural Revolution in Modern American Poetry
114
Cohesion Dissent and Contemporary Cultural Boundaries
131
The Hybridity of Culture in Arturo Islass The Rain God
159
Norman Mailer and the Radical Text
174
Problems of Marginality in America
191
Problematizing American Dissent The Subject of Phillis Wheatley
193
Before the Law after the Judgment Schizophrenia in John Barths The Floating Opera
210
Bercovitchs Paradox Critical Dissent Marginality and the Example of Melville
229
Contributors
251
Copyright

Chaos Goes Uncourted John Yaus DisOrienting Poetics
133

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About the author (1994)

Carol Colatrella is Assistant Professor in the Department of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Joseph Alkana is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Miami, Florida.

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