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Vanishing Moments: Class and American…
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Vanishing Moments: Class and American Literature (Class : Culture) (edição 2006)

por Eric Schocket

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Vanishing Moments analyzes how various American authors have reified class through their writing, from the first influx of industrialism in the 1850s to the end of the Great Depression in the early 1940s. Eric Schocket uses this history to document America's long engagement with the problem of class stratification and demonstrates how deeply America's desire to deny the presence of class has marked even its most labor-conscious cultural texts.   Schocket offers careful readings of works by Herman Melville, Rebecca Harding Davis, William Dean Howells, Jack London, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Muriel Rukeyser, and Langston Hughes, among others, and explores how these authors worked to try to heal the rift between the classes. He considers the challenges writers faced before the Civil War in developing a language of class amidst the predominant concerns about race and slavery; how early literary realists dealt with the threat of class insurrection; how writers at the turn of the century attempted to span the divide between the classes by going undercover as workers; how early modernists used working-class characters and idioms to shape their aesthetic experiments; and how leftists in the 1930s struggled to develop an adequate model to connect class and literature. Vanishing Moments' unique combination of a broad historical scope and in-depth readings makes it an essential book for scholars and students of American literature and culture, as well as for political scientists, economists, and humanists. Eric Schocket is Associate Professor of American Literature at Hampshire College. "An important book containing many brilliant arguments--hard-hitting and original. Schocket demonstrates a sophisticated acquaintance with issues within the working-class studies movement."             --Barbara Foley, Rutgers University  … (mais)
Membro:wochna
Título:Vanishing Moments: Class and American Literature (Class : Culture)
Autores:Eric Schocket
Informação:University of Michigan Press (2006), Paperback, 320 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:english

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Vanishing Moments: Class and American Literature (Class : Culture) por Eric Schocket

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I read this book. I didn't study it, or take notes. It is pretty heavy going for a person who, like me, is not versed in the professional terms & thought structures of a professor of literature. I think it is mainly about the relationship between American literature and class, and how different literary movements have responded to the actuality of class by finding different ways to bring class within a broader vision of America (or the world) & thereby manage to deny/disempower class analysis & an understanding of class conflict. Class as an economic construct gets lost under ideas of class as culture. The last chapter discusses proletarian literature of the 30's and talks about the early efforts toward proletarian literature and how it got taken over by Popular Front/New Deal ideology -- moving from ideas of the working class to notions of "the people". There is a chapter that focuses on Eliot & Stein, and it talks about modernism & the representation of the body (I think) -- somehow they are attempting to reflect the direct emotional response to the body, without an analysis in between. There is a chapter about (middle-class) writers dressing/acting down & going among the proletariat & writing about it; and a chapter about the strike novel which talks about Aldrich & Hays & Howells. And I guess it starts before the Civil War, with stuff about how class got re-figured as race. There are a lot of interesting ideas, I think, and the author is pretty strong in his use of an actual understanding of class as an economic/social construct (following "new" Marxism), and applying that understanding to liberal & progressive writers who might have wished to contribute to liberation but actually served to present a view of the world where class was subsumed or otherwise lost beneath other more dominant things.
  franoscar | Jul 31, 2008 |
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Vanishing Moments analyzes how various American authors have reified class through their writing, from the first influx of industrialism in the 1850s to the end of the Great Depression in the early 1940s. Eric Schocket uses this history to document America's long engagement with the problem of class stratification and demonstrates how deeply America's desire to deny the presence of class has marked even its most labor-conscious cultural texts.   Schocket offers careful readings of works by Herman Melville, Rebecca Harding Davis, William Dean Howells, Jack London, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Muriel Rukeyser, and Langston Hughes, among others, and explores how these authors worked to try to heal the rift between the classes. He considers the challenges writers faced before the Civil War in developing a language of class amidst the predominant concerns about race and slavery; how early literary realists dealt with the threat of class insurrection; how writers at the turn of the century attempted to span the divide between the classes by going undercover as workers; how early modernists used working-class characters and idioms to shape their aesthetic experiments; and how leftists in the 1930s struggled to develop an adequate model to connect class and literature. Vanishing Moments' unique combination of a broad historical scope and in-depth readings makes it an essential book for scholars and students of American literature and culture, as well as for political scientists, economists, and humanists. Eric Schocket is Associate Professor of American Literature at Hampshire College. "An important book containing many brilliant arguments--hard-hitting and original. Schocket demonstrates a sophisticated acquaintance with issues within the working-class studies movement."             --Barbara Foley, Rutgers University  

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