American Mythologies: Essays on Contemporary Literature by William Blazek, Michael Glenday

By William Blazek, Michael Glenday

In its greater than 3 many years of lifestyles, the self-discipline of yank stories has been reliably unreliable, its barriers and assumptions perpetually moving because it constantly repositions itself to higher handle the altering personality of yank lifestyles, literature, and tradition. American Mythologies is a difficult new examine the present reinvention of yankee reports, a reinvention that has wondered the total concept of what "American"--let on my own "American studies"--means.

Essays within the assortment variety broadly in contemplating those questions, from the influence of Muhammad Ali on Norman Mailer's writings approximately boxing to the interactions of delusion and reminiscence within the fictions of Jayne Anne Phillips to the conflicted portrayal of the yank West in Cormac McCarthy's novels. 4 essays within the assortment specialise in local American authors, together with Leslie Marmon Silko and Gerald Vizenor, whereas one other considers Louise Erdrich's novels within the context of Ojibwa myth.

By bringing jointly views on American reports from either Europe and the USA, American Mythologies offers a transparent photo of the present kingdom of the self-discipline whereas mentioning fruitful instructions for its future.

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Extra info for American Mythologies: Essays on Contemporary Literature (Liverpool University Press - Liverpool English Texts & Studies)

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With the discourse reproduced in his book, termination is a gratuitous act. Within the strategies of Hogan’s novel, the ‘trail of tears’ or termination represent not a fatal blow to Indian culture but, rather, another stage in the evolution of native cultural identity, to restore and sustain their cultures and peoples. Michael Horse and the Greycloud family demonstrate that Indian cultures are as portable as the lives that carry them. At the end of Mean Spirit, the survivors of the Osage terror take their lives into an unknown land and future: … the life they had lived, nothing more than a distant burning.

Its distinctive themes – Puritanism, Individualism, Progress, Pragmatism, Transcendentalism, Liberalism – run through virtually the whole of America’s past. g. Davy Crockett, Daniel Webster, Buffalo Bill – might be academically legitimate, America is revealed most profoundly in its ‘high culture’. Any paradigm built around the assumption of an American Mind, an elite and literate intellect, assumes the absence of all Others from its consciousness, an absence so whole that there can be no dissenting voices from women or ethnic and indigenous people or working-class white men.

The historical inevitability of settler survival and native death transforms national compassion into resignation, for both settler and native. ‘Concern for the Indian’s sad state’, as Pearce paraphrases the rhetoric of civilization, ‘was as deep and as honest as certainty of his inevitable destruction … For the Indian everywhere was known to be one of the lost’ (58). The most revealing Blazek_02_Ch1 23 25/4/05, 9:14 am 24 Betty Louise Bell and troubling aspect of Savagism and Civilization is its lack of accountability.

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