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Download ebook Robert T., Jr. Tally - Poe and the Subversion of American Literature : Satire, Fantasy, Critique FB2

9781623564278
English

1623564271
Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2014 In Poe and the Subversion of American Literature , Robert T. Tally Jr. argues that Edgar Allan Poe is best understood, not merely as a talented artist or canny magazinist, but primarily as a practical joker who employs satire and fantasy to poke fun at an emergent nationalist discourse circulating in the United States. Poe's satirical and fantastic mode, on display even in his apparently serious short stories and literary criticism, undermines the earnest attempts to establish a distinctively national literature in the nineteenth century. In retrospect, Poe's work also subtly subverts the tenets of an institutionalized American Studies in the twentieth century. Tally interprets Poe's life and works in light of his own social milieu and in relation to the disciplinary field of American literary studies, finding Poe to be neither the poète maudit of popular mythology nor the representative American writer revealed by recent scholarship. Rather, Poe is an untimely figure whose work ultimately makes a mockery of those who would seek to contain it. Drawing upon Gilles Deleuze's distinction between nomad thought and state philosophy, Tally argues that Poe's varied literary and critical writings represent an alternative to American literature. Through his satirical critique of U.S. national culture and his otherworldly projection of a postnational space of the imagination, Poe establishes a subterranean, nomadic, and altogether worldly literary practice., In "Poe and the Subversion of American Literature," Robert T. Tally Jr. argues that Edgar Allan Poe is best understood, not merely as a talented artist or canny magazinist, but primarily as a practical joker who employs satire and fantasy to poke fun at an emergent nationalist discourse circulating in the United States. Poe's satirical and fantastic mode, on display even in his apparently serious short stories and literary criticism, undermines the earnest attempts to establish a distinctively national literature in the nineteenth century. In retrospect, Poe's work also subtly subverts the tenets of an institutionalized American Studies in the twentieth century. Tally interprets Poe's life and works in light of his own social milieu and in relation to the disciplinary field of American literary studies, finding Poe to be neither the "poete maudit" of popular mythology nor the representative American writer revealed by recent scholarship. Rather, Poe is an untimely figure whose work ultimately makes a mockery of those who would seek to contain it. Drawing upon Gilles Deleuze's distinction between nomad thought and state philosophy, Tally argues that Poe's varied literary and critical writings represent an alternative to American literature. Through his satirical critique of U.S. national culture and his otherworldly projection of a postnational space of the imagination, Poe establishes a subterranean, nomadic, and altogether worldly literary practice., Poe and the Subversion of American Literature argues that Poe's writings represent forms of satire, fantasy, and critique that subvert the nationalist project of American literary studies. Subversion not so much in the overtly political sense--Poe was no revolutionary, of course--as in the almost geological sense, of undermining or eroding the foundations of such a project. Drawing upon Gilles Deleuze's famous distinction between nomad thought and state philosophy, Tally argues that Poe presents an alternative to American literature through his satirical critique of U.S. national culture and his otherworldly projection of a postnational space of the imagination.Tally begins by noting that Melville and Poe represent alternatives visions of a post-American condition. Where Melville projects a supra- or transnational world beyond the imaginary geography of the nation-state, Poe descends to the street-level or to the underground of everyday experience, begetting an infra-, sub-, or even anti-national perspective. Both writers are at odds with the tradition established by twentieth-century American Studies, a tradition that has canonized each, though quite differently. And both writers offer ways of re-imagining literature in the "post-American Century" today, in the era of globalization. Poe and the Subversion of American Literature reads Poe's life and works as post-national forces that undermine not only the national narrative of his own time, but the nationalism of twentieth-century American Studies, while opening tenebrous vistas into our own postmodern condition today.

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