Strange Nation: Literary Nationalism and Cultural Conflict in the Age of Poe by J. Gerald KennedyStrange Nation: Literary Nationalism and Cultural Conflict in the Age of Poe by J. Gerald Kennedy

Strange Nation: Literary Nationalism and Cultural Conflict in the Age of Poe

byJ. Gerald Kennedy

Paperback | April 25, 2016

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After the War of 1812, Americans belatedly realized that they lacked national identity. The subsequent campaign to articulate nationality transformed every facet of culture from architecture to painting, and in the realm of letters, literary jingoism embroiled American authors in the heatedpolitics of nationalism. The age demanded stirring images of U.S. virtue, often achieved by contriving myths and obscuring brutalities. Between these sanitized narratives of the nation and U.S. social reality lay a grotesque discontinuity: vehement conflicts over slavery, Indian removal,immigration, and territorial expansion divided the country. Authors such as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Catharine M. Sedgwick, William Gilmore Simms, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Lydia Maria Child wrestled uneasily with the imperative to revise history to produce national fable. Counter-narratives by fugitive slaves, Native Americans, and defiantwomen subverted literary nationalism by exposing the plight of the unfree and dispossessed. And with them all, Edgar Allan Poe openly mocked literary nationalism and deplored the celebration of "stupid" books appealing to provincial self-congratulation. More than any other author, he personifies thecontrary, alien perspective that discerns the weird operations at work behind the facade of American nation-building.
J. Gerald Kennedy is Boyd Professor of English at Louisiana State University. He is the author of numerous publications, including Imagining Paris: Exile, Writing, and American Identity, and the co-editor of Romancing the Shadow: Poe and Race.
Title:Strange Nation: Literary Nationalism and Cultural Conflict in the Age of PoeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:April 25, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195393694

ISBN - 13:9780195393699

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsIntroduction: The Strangeness of American Nationhood1. Refiguring the Foreign: Irving, Poe, and America's "Europe"2. Writing Against the Nation: Cooper's Gleanings3. Patriotic Anti-Nationalism: Minority Reports from Abroad4. Cleansing Actions: Rewriting the Border Wars5. Removal and Remorse in Jacksonian America6. National Awakening: Reconstructing the Revolution7. America Against Itself: The South, Slavery, and Dissociative National Identities8. The Cartography of Destiny and the Savage West9. The Interpreter of National Maladies: Poe's American TurnBibliography