American MythologiesEssays on Contemporary Literature

American MythologiesEssays on Contemporary Literature

William Blazek and Michael K. Glenday

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780853237365

Publisher: Liverpool University Press


In its more than three decades of existence, the discipline of American studies has been reliably unreliable, its boundaries and assumptions forever shifting as it continuously repositions itself to better address the changing character of American life, literature, and culture. This book looks at the current reinvention of American studies, a reinvention that has questioned the whole notion of what ‘American’ – let alone ‘American studies’ – means. The chapters range widely in considering these questions, from the effect of Muhammad Ali on Norman Mailer's writings about boxing, to the interactions of myth and memory in the fictions of Jayne Anne Phillips, to the conflicted portrayal of the American West in Cormac McCarthy's novels. Four chapters in the collection focus on Native American authors, including Leslie Marmon Silko and Gerald Vizenor, while another considers Louise Erdrich's novels in the context of Ojibwa myth.

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