Uneasy Alliance: Twentieth-century American Literature, Culture and Biography
Rodopi, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 367 pages
Uneasy Alliance illuminates the recent search in literary studies for a new interface between textual and contextual readings. Written in tribute to G.A.M. Janssens, the twenty-one essays in the volume exemplify a renewed awareness of the paradoxical nature of literary texts both as works of literary art and as documents embedded in and functioning within a writer's life and culture. Together they offer fresh and often interdisciplinary perspectives on twentieth-century American writers of more or less established status (Henry James, Edna St. Vincent Millay, E.E. Cummings, Vladimir Nabokov, Flannery O'Connor, Saul Bellow, Michael Ondaatje, Toni Morrison and Sandra Cisneros) as well as on those who, for reasons of fashion, politics, ideology, or gender, have been unduly neglected (Booth Tarkington, Julia Peterkin, Robert Coates, Martha Gellhorn, Isabella Gardner, Karl Shapiro, the young Jewish-American writers, Julia Alvarez, and writers of popular crime and detective fiction). Exploring the fruitful interactions and uneasy alliance between literature and ethics, film, biography, gender studies, popular culture, avant-garde art, urban studies, anthropology and multicultural studies, together these essays testify to the ongoing pertinence of an approach to literature that is undogmatic, sensitive and sophisticated and that seeks to do justice to the complex interweavings of literature, culture and biography in twentieth-century American writing.
Mary A McCay
Notes on Contributors
aesthetic Aiken Alvarez Ambersons American literature American writers artists become Bobbs-Merrill papers Carringer characters Cisneros Collected Poems contemporary criticism culture D.L. Chambers Dahlberg E.E. Cummings Eater of Darkness editor English Esperanza essay ethnic Eugene experience feel fiction film Flannery O’Connor George girl Girodias Grimes grotesque Havers Henry Ibid identity immigrant Indian interview Irving Fineman Isabel Isabella Gardner James Jewish Jewish-American Julia Alvarez Julia Peterkin Karl Shapiro Kazin Kenneth Burke letter living Lolita Lynley magazine Malcolm Cowley Marion married Martha Gellhorn metaphor metonymy Millay Millay’s mother multicultural Nabokov Nathanael West never novel Olympia Press Ondaatje one’s Osmond Paris plantation poet Poetry papers Poetry's political published reader reading Robert Coates Sandra Cisneros Scarlet Sister Mary scene script sexual social sonnets Southern stories Sula Tarkington Toni Morrison Trellman trickster Ushant voice woman women Yesterday's Burdens York young
Page 16 - I don't agree with you. I think just the other way. I don't know whether I succeed in expressing myself, but I know that nothing else expresses me. Nothing that belongs to me is any measure of me; everything's on the contrary a limit, a barrier, and a perfectly arbitrary one. Certainly the clothes which, as you say, I choose to wear, don't express me; and heaven forbid they should!
Page 16 - There's no such thing as an isolated man or woman; we're each of us made up of some cluster of appurtenances. What shall we call our 'self? Where does it begin? where does it end? It overflows into everything that belongs to us - and then it flows back again. I know a large part of myself is in the clothes I choose to wear. I've a great respect for things.
Page 15 - I you'll see that every human being has his shell and that you must take the shell into account. By the shell I mean the whole envelope of circumstances. There 's no such thing as an isolated man or woman; we're each of us made up of some cluster of appurtenances. What shall we call our 'self?
Page 23 - His kiss was like white lightning, a flash that spread, and spread again, and stayed ; and it was extraordinarily as if, while she took it, she felt each thing in his hard manhood that had least pleased her, each aggressive fact of his face, his figure, his presence, justified of its intense identity and made one with this act of possession.