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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Whether the “ dumb blankness ” of Ishmael ' s white whale incarnating a
dehumanized abyss , Frost ' s snowy spaces of solipsistic abolishment , or
Stevens ' s " empty spirit / In vacant space , ” repression of prior power must give
way to this ...
If prior sublimes get outmoded , and have to be abandoned or outdone , the
ground of such selfelective power lingers in the landscape and language , so the
sublime assumes , as the archive of grand dreams : not so much “ supreme
Such a sublimely confected textuality would yet suffice as the “ thesis of the
plentifullest John ” did for prior , less uneasily logocentric poets such as Emerson
and Whitman . Decreating the American Sublime The spirit of the sublime ...
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