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Title:Uniting States: Narration, Space, and Nation in Four Nineteenth-Century American Travel Novels
Author(s):Hurt, Matthew Joseph
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Parker, Robert Dale
Department / Program:English
Discipline:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Literature, American
Abstract:Since the birth of a self-consciously national literary tradition in the early republic, American writers have located American national identity within a dialectical spatial imaginary where ideologies of spatial transcendence compete with those of local authority and regional difference. "Uniting States" maps this spatial imaginary as it operates in four nineteenth-century domestic travel novels, tracing the grim fate of the local as a site of cultural authority and a category of national self-identity in Hugh Henry Brackenridge's Modern Chivalry (1792--1815), William A. Caruthers' The Kentuckian in New York (1834), Herman Melville's The Confidence-Man (1857), and Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). The writers I discuss found in the picaresque's geographic scope, formal expansiveness, and textual fluidity a metaphor for a spatially expanding and socially fluid nation, and the models of narrative and national authority that emerge in their novels signal the local's increasingly diminished reputation in the nation's imagined community.
Issue Date:2000
Type:Text
Language:English
Description:253 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/81514
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9990025
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2000


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