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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Not even contemplation of the whole universe would suffice for the Whitmanic
spirit of this American sublime , as depicted in the open - road vista of stanza 46 :
This day before dawn I ascended a hill and look ' d at the crowded heaven , And I
The convention that Stevens is decreating , or reducing , of imaginative illusion is
the idealized notion that vastness of place demands a corresponding vastness of
spirit on the poet ' s part . This truism of American poetics was one ...
empty spirit / In vacant space , ” a tallying of abyss plus abyss which equals
sublime perception . This sign - alteration of adjectives from full and vast to
vacant and empty is for Stevens a trope which alters nature , as is later claimed in
“ An ...
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