Beyond Ethnicity

Beyond Ethnicity : Consent and Descent in American Culture

3.76 (25 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$35.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

Nothing is "pure" in America, and, indeed, the rich ethnic mix that constitutes our society accounts for much of its amazing vitality. Werner Sollors's new book takes a wide-ranging look at the role of "ethnicity" in American literature and what that literature has said--and continues to say--about our diverse culture. Ethnic consciousness, he contends, is a constituent feature of modernism, not modernism's antithesis. Discussing works from every period of American history, Sollors focuses particularly on the tension between "descent" and "consent"--between the concern for one's racial, ethnic, and familial heritage and the conflicting desire to choose one's own destiny, even if that choice goes against one's heritage. Some of the stories Sollors examines are retellings of the biblical Exodus--stories in which Americans of the most diverse origins have painted their own histories as an escape from bondage or a search for a new Canaan. Other stories are "American-made" tales of melting-pot romance, which may either triumph in intermarriage, accompanied by new world symphonies, or end with the lovers' death. Still other stories concern voyages of self-discovery in which the hero attempts to steer a perilous course between stubborn traditionalism and total assimilation. And then there are the generational sagas, in which, as if by magic, the third generation emerges as the fulfillment of their forebears' dream. Citing examples that range from the writings of Cotton Mather to Liquid Sky (a "post-punk" science fiction film directed by a Russian emigre), Sollors shows how the creators of American culture have generally been attracted to what is most new and modern. About the Author: Werner Sollors is Chairman of the Afro-American Studies Department at Harvard University and the author of Amiri Baraka: The Quest for a Populist Modernism. A provocative and original look at "ethnicity" in American literature .Covers stories from all periods of our nation's history .Relates ethnic literature to the principle of literary modernism ."Grave and hilarious, tender and merciless...The book performs a public service."-Quentin Anderson"show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 306 pages
  • 165.1 x 242.82 x 26.92mm | 648.63g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • halftones
  • 0195036948
  • 9780195036947

Rating details

25 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 32% (8)
4 32% (8)
3 16% (4)
2 20% (5)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X