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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Sublimity accrues through the private production of an abyss ( “ vacant space ” )
or delusion of textual displacement ( “ empty spirit ” ) out of which selfhood can
emerge to inaugurate claims of strong interpretation tied , as if a cultural given , to
... and Satan - filled wilderness . Relegated by gender to the humilitas of lowly
domestic productions ( the textual slogan of this “ Feminist Bradstreet ” emerging
in the 1980s , as in Martin , becomes “ In better dress to trim thee was my mind ...
The textual sublime ” emerges from variously deconstructive readings in The
Textual Sublime : Deconstruction and Its Differences , ed . Hugh J . Silverman
and Gary E . Aylesworth ( Albany : State Univ . of New York Press , 1990 ) : xii .
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