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Novelists' America:
How Dreams Turned into Nightmare

Edited by Kazuko Fukuoka and Yasushi Takano

8/2/2010
Hardcover, pp.284
2400 Yen
ISBN:978-4-87984-279-4



    Since its inception as a modern nation, America has struggled to fulfill its defining ideals of equality, freedom, and democracy. Regardless of their immediate concerns, American literary works bear the traces of those socio-political struggles, continually making implicit or explicit references to the nation as an arena of fierce contention between ideal and reality, celebration and frustration, and construction and dissolution.

    Novelists' America: How Dreams Turned into Nightmare tracks American literature's painstaking negotiation with the nation's failed promises, through a collection of essays examining Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry James, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Barth, and Richard Powers. These essays reveal various pictures of "dreams turned into nightmare" that the novelists drew in their exploration of the nation plagued with persistent racism, political intolerance, dissolved family, crisis in faith, and socio-economic divides.

    Conceived in the first year of Barack Obama's historic but embattled presidency, Novelists' America suggests that the problems the writers found in their respective Americas bear a striking relevance to the nation today. In so doing, this critical anthology unearths the subtle continuity between the novelists as writers of fictional narratives, as critical readers of America as a "text," and as American citizens who lived both dreams and nightmares.


Table of Contents:


Chapter 1:
House without a Home: The House of the Seven Gables as Anti-Dystopian Novel
    by Takaaki NIWA

Chapter 2:
The Dual Narrative over Felix Culpa in The Marble Faun: Providence and Democracy in Nineteenth-century America
    by Kayoko NAKANISHI

Chapter 3:
Herman Melville and the Theme of Poverty: Are the Poor "voiceless"?
    by Kazuko FUKUOKA

Chapter 4:
Getting Rid of Mrs. Newsome: Henry James's Displacement of America in The Ambassadors
    by Tomoko TAKEI

Chapter 5:
The "New Negro" and Passing Fiction: The Ideals and Paradox of the Harlem Renaissance
    by Masami SUGIMORI

Chapter 6:
Watching Memory: Representations of Violence in the American Lynching Era and Faulkner's Works
    by Ryo YAMAUCHI

Chapter 7:
Reading "Dry September" from the Prohibition Era
    by Kayoko SHIMANUKI

Chapter 8:
Nick Adams's Escape from the Original Sin: "The Last Good Country" and the Nightmare of Eden
    by Yasushi TAKANO

Chapter 9:
The Writer's Writer's Voice: The Politics of the Two"Voice Projects" by John Hawkes and John Barth
    by Kyoko YOSHIDA

Chapter 10:
Pitfalls in the Promise of Unlimited Possibility: Richard Powers' Galatea 2.2
    by Satoko ITO


Appendix 1: Timeline of American History & Literature
Appendix 2: Index



 
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