In this Book

The Ohio State University Press
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The forces of globalization have transformed literary studies in America, and not for the better. The detailed critical reading of artistic texts has been replaced by newly minted catchphrases describing widely divergent snippets and anecdotes—deemed mere documents—regardless of the critic’s expertise in the appropriate languages and cultures. Visions of Global America and the Future of Critical Reading by Daniel T. O’Hara traces the origin of this global approach to Emerson. But it also demonstrates another, tragic tradition of vision from Henry James that counters the Emersonian global imagination with the hard realities of being human. Building on this tradition, on Lacan’s insights into the real, and on Badiou’s original theory of truth, O’Hara points to how we can, and should, reground literary study in critical reading. In Emerson’s classic essay “Experience” (1844), America appears in and as a symptom of the critic’s self-making that sacrifices the power of love to this visionary project—a literary version of the American self-made man. O’Hara rescues critical reading using James’s late work, especially The Golden Bowl (1904), and builds on this vision with examinations of texts by St. Paul, Emerson, Wallace Stevens, James Purdy, John Cheever, James Baldwin, John Ashbery, and others.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Introduction: The Event of Reading
  2. pp. 1-12
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  1. Part 1. The Critical Apparatus
  2. pp. 13-14
  1. 1. Badiou's Truth and the Office of the Critic: Neither Gods nor Monsters
  2. pp. 15-37
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  1. 2. Figures of the Void: On the Subject of Truth and the Fundamentalist Imagination
  2. pp. 38-54
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  1. 3. "The Cry of Its Occasion:" On the Subject of Truth, Or the Terror in Global Terrorism
  2. pp. 55-70
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  1. Part 2. The Literary Culture of Global America
  2. pp. 71-72
  1. 4. Global America and the Logics of Vision
  2. pp. 73-80
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  1. 5. America, the Symptom: On the Post-9/11 Allegory in American Studies
  2. pp. 81-96
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  1. 6. Our Worldly Apocalypse: Literature and Everyday Life
  2. pp. 97-108
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  1. Part 3. The Exalted States of Reading
  2. pp. 109-110
  1. 7. "Monstrous Levity:" Between Realism and Vision in Henry James
  2. pp. 111-119
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  1. 8. Toward a Global Democracy: James Baldwin and the Stoic Vision of Amor Fati
  2. pp. 120-131
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  1. 9. Bringing Out the Terror: James Purdy and the Culture of Vision
  2. pp. 132-149
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  1. Conclusion: The Truth of American Madness
  2. pp. 150-160
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 161-164
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 165-174
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 175-179
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