Transatlantic Traffic and (Mis)Translations
Publication Year: 2013
This book will appeal to a broad spectrum of scholars in American, British, and Transatlantic literary studies.
Published by: University of New Hampshire Press
Series: New England in the World
Title Page, Series Page, Copyright
Foreword: Transatlantic Traffic 1610–1910
One of the last half-century’s most interesting, and often challenging, developments in the academic humanities is the blurring or erasure of the conventional disciplinary taxonomies and boundaries that arose in the Enlightenment and were consolidated in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ...
This description is imbued with Hawthorne’s characteristic irony, couched in his deceptively comfortable style. Here, the remark provides the reader with several options. The tower might stand for the bedrock of England and the ivy its culture, suggesting an ironic comment on the decline of British vitality, ...
Prologue: Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic (Mis)Understandings
The dominant nineteenth-century Anglo-American imaginary unfolded from a distinctly skittish to a much more amicable, albeit still guarded, mutuality as the United States rose toward world power status, even as the British Empire neared its own ultimate extension. This essay assesses selected aspects of the cultural history of that unfolding. ...
Part I: Monstrosities and Curiosities
1. Curiosities of the New World and John Winthrop, Jr.’s, Epistolary Visits to the Royal Society
On February 10, 1670, Winthrop’s curious “stellar” fish, or starfish, was unboxed at a regular meeting of the Royal Society.1 The fish was part of a collection of items that were revealed to the Society’s members that day. It was encased in one of four boxes of curiosities, all of which contained a rich variety of flora and fauna: ...
2. The Transatlantic Larynx in Wartime: John Gough’s London Voices
The most profound societal and cultural shifts are often audible. Of the many Anglo-American exchanges that energized the period covered by this collection, one of the more notable took place within the throat, through incremental but significant divergence of accent. ...
3. The Monstrous Transatlantic Witchcraft Narrative: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Lois the Witch
Before she became an established household name, Elizabeth Gaskell published in the journal of her friends Mary and William Howitt under the pseudonym “Cotton Mather Mills.”1 This was, in many ways, an apt choice for Gaskell, cleverly combining a reference to the factories that littered the Lancastrian landscape of her home ...
Part II: Translations, Conversions, and Rewritings
4. The Reformation of Their Disordered Lives: Portraying Cultural Adaptation in the Seventeenth-century Praying Indian Towns
These words were spoken by Monequassun, a Massachusett Indian man who converted to Christianity during the seventeenth century, and they epitomize the difficulties faced by both New England missionaries and Native American would-be Christians as they tried to understand each other in the period. ...
5. The Toast of Heroes and Fair Albion’s Son: Jonathan Mitchell Sewell’s Ossianic Versifications
James Macpherson’s Poems of Ossian (1760–63) are today widely recognized (again) as one of the publishing sensations of the third quarter of the eighteenth century. Jerome MacGann considers that “Ossian’s influence on the literary scene of the late eighteenth century eclipsed all others.” ...
6. Walt Whitman and William Blake: The Prophet-Artist and Democratic Thought
In the twentieth century, Walt Whitman and William Blake have been repeatedly yoked together as bards of the people and the prophetic qualities of their verse have been used in the fight against tyranny of all forms. But the myth surrounding Blake and Whitman was developed in the context of an emerging democratic poetic ...
Part III: Transatlantic Traffic and Performances
7. Prophecy and Geography in Anne Bradstreet’s “Contemplations”: A Transatlantic Reading
Anne Bradstreet has often been cast in the role of America’s first poet, but her verse can seem frustratingly short on American particulars.1 Recent scholarly interests in empire and ecocritical interpretation have converged to reveal the importance of “landscape as a vehicle of prophecy” (Sweet 214) in early American writing, ...
8. Coloniality, Performance, Translation: The Embodied Public Sphere in Early America
What is left over when the act of linguistic translation is complete? What are translation’s remnants — the bodily remains of translation? These are questions of more than passing concern with regard to American culture, and this is so because American/U.S. culture originates in a scene of colonial encounter. ...
9. Literature of Attractions: Jack London and Early Moving Images
In 1902, Jack London penned a hurried letter to his lover, Anna Strunsky. It began with an apology: “I had intended to write you a good long letter for yourself, but people have come, must shave now or never and have some toning to do in dark room.”1 The fact that London mentions working in the darkroom alongside routine activities ...
List of Editors and Contributors
Robin Peel is an Associate Professor and Reader in English in the School of Humanities at the University of Plymouth. Since 2000 his research has focused on the relationship between politics, culture and the work of three American writers, leading to three monographs: ...