Intimacy in America: Dreams of Affiliation in Antebellum by Peter Coviello

By Peter Coviello

Nineteenth-century the United States was once a sprawling new state unmoored from precedent and the mainstays of eu nationalism. of their look for nationality, american citizens sought coherence in a sense of belonging shared between diversified and scattered strangers. examining seminal works by way of Thomas Jefferson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Walt Whitman, Peter Coviello strains those writers' enthusiasms and their ambivalences concerning the dream of an intimate nationality, revealing how race and sexuality have been used as automobiles for an assumed nationwide coherence. As Coviello exhibits, race - and particularly whiteness - functioned much less as a kind of id than as a version of attachment and identity, a language of association. Whiteness created an imaginary fraternity that symbolized citizenship, the possession of estate, and an affinity among strangers, which turned entangled within the nation's evolving codes of sexuality. Bringing race thought and "white reports" into discussion with questions of intimacy and have an effect on, Coviello offers a realistic rapprochement among historicist and psychoanalytic methodologies. Intimacy in the USA provides us a brand new standpoint at the nationwide meanings of race and intercourse in American literature, in addition to at the still-current dream of American-ness as an impassioned relation to far-flung, nameless others.

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