American Impersonal by Branka Arsic
Essays with Sharon Cameron

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American Impersonal brings together some of the most influential scholars now working in American literature to explore the impact of one of America’s leading literary critics: Sharon Cameron. It engages directly with certain arguments that Cameron has articulated throughout her career, most notably her late work on the question of impersonality. In doing so, it provides responses to questions fundamental to literary criticism, such as: the nature of personhood; the logic of subjectivity in depersonalized communities; the question of the human within the problematic of the impersonal; how impersonality relates to the “posthuman.”

Additionally, some essays respond to the current “aesthetic turn” in literary scholarship and engage with the lyric, currently much debated, as well as the larger questions of poetics and the logic of genre.

These crucial issues are addressed from the perspective of an American literary and philosophical tradition, and progress chronologically, starting from Melville and Emerson and moving via Dickinson, Thoreau and Hawthorne to Henry James and Wallace Stevens. This historical perspective adds the appeal of revisiting the American nineteenth-century literary and philosophical tradition, and even rewriting it.

About Branka Arsic

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Branka Arsic is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, USA. She is the author of On Leaving, A Reading in Emerson (2010) and The Passive Constitutions, 71/2 Times Bartleby (2007). She has co-edited (with Cary Wolfe) a collection of essays on Emerson, entitled The Other Emerson (2001).
Published February 27, 2014 by Bloomsbury Academic. 376 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction