Horizons of Enchantment
Essays in the American Imaginary
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Dartmouth College Press
The aptly termed “transnational turn” has resulted in the most significant reconfiguration of American Studies since its inception. Transnational American Studies grew out of the conceptual transformation generated by a newly globalized world order and therefore demands an understanding of America’s embeddedness ...
Preface and Acknowledgments
The chapters in this book may be considered field trips in the varied and conglomerated area that is American literature, or, if you like, excursions in literary and cultural archaeology. Each one has something to say about its particular subject as it is constituted by and constitutive of its own moment of origination ...
A few years ago I was on a yearlong sabbatical in California. When it was time to pack up and return to Norway we had a yard sale, a wonderful institution possible only through a combination of pleasant temperatures and plenty of space. An elderly couple strolled by, and the man came up, not to buy anything ...
 The Imaginary
To introduce the more strictly methodological concerns of this chapter, I want to briefly consider Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s baseball film Sugar (2008).1 Its engagement with the religious metaphoricity of the game itself, ambivalence of purpose, frustration, and, ultimately, questions of interpreting the signs of magic, ...
 “Perpetual Progress” in Drude Krog Janson’s A Saloon Keeper’s Daughter
Drude Krog Janson’s novel A Saloonkeeper’s Daughter was originally published in Minneapolis in 1887 with a similar-sounding title in Norwegian, En Saloonkeepers Datter.1 The story of protagonist Astrid Holm’s journey from Norway to late nineteenth-century America, moving from adolescence to adulthood ...
 Songs of Different Selves: Whitman and Gonzales
Social imaginaries carry particular expectations to their participants. These are disseminated in various ways, commonly through customs and traditions, which teach members the necessary enabled and enabling filters. Founding cultural documents are among the pillars of such traditions, including literary canons ...
 The “Long Empty Moment”: Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter
In Charles Taylor’s exposition, one of the main characteristics of the modern social imaginary is its severance from significations and practices grounded in religious time or origins, what he calls a “time out of mind.” He remarks that “Modernity is secular, not in the frequent, rather loose sense of the word, where it designates ...
 “Relations Stretched Out” in the American Imaginary
Doreen Massey’s observation that “The spatial is social relations stretched out” sounds simple, yet when we stop to think through what those words actually mean, the statement presents phenomenal complexities. In light of the remark, the truism that America is a nation of immigrants takes on a more convoluted ...
 Recalling America: Huntington and Rodriguez
We have seen that the concept of the imaginary is a tool for gauging how various participants relate to, contest, and always, in some form or another, disseminate the tenets and currents that sustain the imaginary’s flexible function as enabling filter. This is nowhere more evident than in the oscillation between what, ...