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American Literature's Aesthetic Dimensions

Dorri Beam

Editore: Columbia University Press, 2012
ISBN 10: 0231156170 / ISBN 13: 9780231156172
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Titolo: American Literature's Aesthetic Dimensions

Casa editrice: Columbia University Press

Data di pubblicazione: 2012

Legatura: Soft cover

Condizione libro: New


Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: American Literature's Aesthetic Dimensions offers a vitally new and much-needed approach to the study of American literature. The contributors' models of argumentation in this post-theory moment lay new groundwork for American literary studies. More than a recovery and burnishing of a term relegated to past scholarly practice, this collection newly defines its signature term, with its contributors demonstrating how theoretical positions assimilated over the last quarter century can be foundational for synergistic engagement with aesthetics. Codice inventario libreria ABE_book_new_0231156170

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Rethinking the category of aesthetics in light of recent developments in literary theory and social criticism, the contributors to this volume showcase the interpretive possibilities available to those who bring politics, culture, ideology, and conceptions of identity into their critiques. Essays combine close readings of individual works and authors with more theoretical discussions of aesthetic theory and its relation to American literature. In their introduction, Weinstein and Looby argue that aesthetics never left American literary critique. Instead, the essay casts the current "return to aesthetics" as the natural consequence of shortcomings in deconstruction and new historicism, which led to a reconfiguration of aesthetics.

Subsequent essays demonstrate the value and versatility of aesthetic considerations in literature, from eighteenth-century poetry to twentieth-century popular music. Organized into four groups -- politics, form, gender, and theory -- contributors revisit the canonical works of Henry James, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Stephen Crane, introduce the overlooked texts of Constance Fenimore Woolson and Earl Lind, and unpack the complexities of the music of The Carpenters. Deeply rooted in an American context, these essays explore literature's aesthetic dimensions in connection to American liberty and the formation of political selfhood.

Contributors include Edward Cahill, Ivy G. Wilson, June Ellison, Dorri Beam, Christopher Castiglia, Christopher Looby, Wendy Steiner, Cindy Weinstein, Trish Loughran, Jonathan Freedman, Elisa New, Dorothy Hale, Mary Esteve, Eric Lott, Sianne Ngai


Cindy Weinstein is professor of English at the California Institute of Technology and the author of The Literature of Labor and the Labors of Literature: Allegory in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction and Family, Kinship, and Sympathy in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. She is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe and coeditor, with Peter Stoneley, of A Concise Companion to American Fiction, 1900--1950.

Christopher Looby is professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of Voicing America: Language, Literary Form, and the Origins of the United States and editor of The Complete Civil War Journal and Selected Letters of Thomas Wentworth Higginson. With Christopher Castiglia, he is the coeditor of a special issue of ESQ on "New Approaches to Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century American Literature" and wrote the introduction to Robert Montgomery Bird's Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself.

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Indirizzo: Lewiston, NY, U.S.A.

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