Download e-book for iPad: Atlantic Republic: The American Tradition in English by Paul Giles

By Paul Giles

ISBN-10: 0199206333

ISBN-13: 9780199206339

Atlantic Republic strains the legacy of the us either as a spot and as an idea within the paintings of English writers from 1776 to the current day. Seeing the disputes of the Reformation as a precursor to this transatlantic divide, it argues that the United States has operated because the Revolution as a focus for numerous traditions of dissent inside English tradition. via ranging over writers from Richard expense and Susanna Rowson within the 1790s to Angela Carter and Salman Rushdie on the flip of the twenty-first century, the ebook argues that the US haunts the English literary culture as a parallel area the place ideology and aesthetics are configured another way. therefore, it indicates, some of the key episodes in British history-parliamentary reform within the 1830s, the imperial designs of the Victorian period, the twentieth-century clash with fascism, the improvement of globalization given that 1980-have been formed by way of implicit dialogues with American cultural types. instead of easily reinforcing the benign fantasy of a 'special relationship', Paul Giles considers how a variety of English writers during the last 2 hundred years have engaged with the USA for numerous advanced purposes: its promise of political republicanism (Byron, Mary Shelley); its emphasis on spiritual disestablishment (Clough, Gissing); its prospect of pastoral regeneration (Ruxton, Lawrence); its imaginative and prescient of medical futurism (Huxley, Ballard). The booklet additionally analyses the complicated cultural family members among Britain and the us round the time of the second one global warfare, suggesting that writers corresponding to Wodehouse, Isherwood, and Auden understood the USA and Germany to supply replacement types of the type of technological modernity that seemed both adverse to conventional kinds of English tradition. The ebook ends with a attention of how within which the canon of English literature may perhaps seem in a special gentle if obvious from a transnational instead of a well-known nationwide standpoint.

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Extra info for Atlantic Republic: The American Tradition in English Literature

Example text

The apprehension of time, according to Anderson, is one of the fundamental characteristics of the shift to nationalism. “Beneath the decline of sacred communities, languages and lineages, a fundamental change was taking place in modes of apprehending the world, which, more than anything else, made it possible to ‘think’ the nation” (22). One of these modes is the shift from what Anderson, borrowing from Walter Benjamin, calls simultaneity-along-time to homogeneous, empty time (Imagined Communities, 24).

Nationalism was the effort by one “backward” culture and people after another to appropriate the powers and benefits of modernity for their own use. Having been redefined as backward, they aspired to move forward. However, this motion occurred partly against the tide coursing over them from the central domains of industry and urbanization . . Hence, modernizing ambition and novel cults of a particular past and tradition notoriously co-exist within most varieties of nationalism: the backward- and forward-looking faces of any discrete population or area struggling for tolerable survival and prosperity.

Anderson discusses the importance of “systematic quantification” (Imagined Communities, 168) to his theory of nationalism. In The Mayor of Casterbridge, “the England of those days was a continent, and a mile a geographical degree” (31). English identity at the beginning of the novel, in the words of the turnip-hoer that the Henchards chance to encounter, is the province of the “volk” (9). This insular folksy-friendliness will soon be ousted by the stiff competition of capitalist individualism necessary for the maintenance of British greatness.

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Atlantic Republic: The American Tradition in English Literature by Paul Giles


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