American Sublime: The Genealogy of a Poetic Genre
University of Wisconsin Press, 1991 - 337 Seiten
Tracing ideas of the sublime in American literature from Puritan writings to the postmodern epoch, Rob Wilson demonstrates that the North American landscape has been the ground for political as well as aesthetic transport. He takes a distinctly historical approach and explores the ways in which experiences of the American landscape instill desire for other kinds of vastness: self-expansion, national expansion, and American political power. As Wallace Stevens put it, the American will takes "dominion everywhere."
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For the most part , such modernists displaced and deformed these claims to
sublimity linked to " the weather , / The landscape and that , ” or to
commensurable claims of self - immensity , into highly qualified vocabularies of
bleak grandeur .
... size , immensity , and speed . I will read this sublimity as a discursive complex
that uneasily equates the grandeur of the American landscape ( as place and as
trope ) with the more abstract will to technocratic domination . The poet plays a ...
Whitman identifies with and represents this American immensity . Otherwise , the
frontier and swarming city seem too external and immense , too “ monstrous
without a corresponding largeness and generosity of the spirit of the citizen ” ( iv )
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