Descripción del Producto
Romantic literature and twentieth-century critical literary deliberations have established the Adamic myth as a central motif of American letters and have theorized it as a celebrated and/or disputed paradigm of Americanness. Although not an exclusively romantic creation nor a twentieth century literary formula, the Adamic myth emerged as the cultural and foundational myth of the American experience of the New World, inextricably linked to definitions of national identity and national destiny.The present volume analyses how artistic creation and literary theoretical debates have articulated, defended or challenged America’s regnant myth. It assembles thirteen papers that re examine one of the major myths of American culture in the light of a variety of contemporary theoretical positions– from Native American to Derridaen, Lacanian, and New Historicist revisions of the Adamic metaphor. The essays in this collection present far ranging perspectives and methodologies concerning the nucleus of interrelated fables and narratives associated with the scope of the American myth: the nostalgia for paradise, the quest for origins, the myth of perpetually new beginnings and innocence, with its corollary cult of newness, and its defense of the new man and the new world.Speaking from various critical vantage points, these scholars reassess the wider web of significations implicit in the Adamic motif. They shed new light on the current theoretical re evaluations and postmodern reinterpretations of American literature, and make an important contribution to contemporary literary theory’s re formulations of concepts of American national self awareness, and of perceptions of self and other, of race, history, and national destiny. Thus the essays advance fresh ways of viewing familiar issues of Adamicism and provide new definitions of American mythography.The collection offers a wide representation of American and European scholarship (German, British, American, and Spanish scholars are included here) and is rounded off by a paper written by a distinguished Native American scholar. Topics covered include: Native American culture; European New World figurations; Romantic, Naturalist, Modernist, and postwar instantiations of the myth. The collection comprises new readings of Native American culture, and of long-studied writers such like Shakespeare, Cooper, Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Dickinson, Twain, Crane, Norris, Dreiser, London, Faulkner, Mailer, and more contemporary writers like William Kennedy, Paul Bowles, Melanie McGrath, Jim Crace, and Cormac McCarthy. This volume will interest scholars and students of American literature and anyone interested in the symbols and myths that lie at the foundation of American culture.