Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. ix

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

This work was originally conceived in the mid 1990s, when I found myself in Central Europe teaching a variety of courses on contemporary American literature. My students and I were surprised to encounter so many ghosts in the writing we considered and were spurred to begin a shared inquiry into...

read more

Introduction: A Land Without Ghosts

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-11

In 1944, the last year, no doubt, in which it still might have been possible to speak with a straight face of American “innocence,” Fei Xiaotang, a Chinese anthropologist and sociologist on a visit to the United States, observed that America is a land without...

read more

1. Haints and Nation: Ghosts and the Narrative of National Identity

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 12-41

Let me begin, then, with a brief propaedeutic discussion of the role and purpose of “culture” in contemporary life. Critics of “multiculturalism” and the emerging discipline of “cultural studies” lament that culture is a term so vague and ephemeral as to be emptied of all precise meaning...

read more

2. Memory, Race, Ethnicity, and Violence

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 42-78

The debts we owe the past can only be paid off through hard work, and in this chapter, I aim to demonstrate how contemporary practices of memory involve labor. Toni Morrison, whose work I will treat as a very special example, speaks of the work of memory...

read more

3. Abandoning Hope in American Fiction: Catalogs of Gothic Catastrophe

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 79-106

“Disaster,” as Eric Cazdyn reminds us in his introduction to a 2007 special issue of The South Atlantic Quarterly, is contingent, “is that moment when the sustainable configuration of relations fails, when the relation between one thing and another breaks...

read more

Conclusion: American Innocence

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 107-122

I opened by suggesting that 1944 was the last year America might reasonably claim its innocence; in a brave new world of technological menace, amid the paranoid fantasizing of the Cold War (note how science fiction during the fifties and sixties transforms itself from a progressive to a paranoid discourse...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 123-129

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 131-140

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 141-149

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF