The Part and the Whole in Early American Literature, Print Culture, and Art (Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850) (Hardcover)

The Part and the Whole in Early American Literature, Print Culture, and Art (Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850) By Matthew Pethers (Editor), Daniel Diez Couch (Editor), Lori Rogers-Stokes (Contributions by), Marion Rust (Contributions by), Nicholas K. Mohlmann (Contributions by), Daniel Diez Couch (Contributions by), Keri Holt (Contributions by), John Saillant (Contributions by), D. Berton Emerson (Contributions by), Laurel Hankins (Contributions by), Lisa West (Contributions by), Amy Morris (Contributions by) Cover Image

The Part and the Whole in Early American Literature, Print Culture, and Art (Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850) (Hardcover)

By Matthew Pethers (Editor), Daniel Diez Couch (Editor), Lori Rogers-Stokes (Contributions by), Marion Rust (Contributions by), Nicholas K. Mohlmann (Contributions by), Daniel Diez Couch (Contributions by), Keri Holt (Contributions by), John Saillant (Contributions by), D. Berton Emerson (Contributions by), Laurel Hankins (Contributions by), Lisa West (Contributions by), Amy Morris (Contributions by)

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The essays in this pathbreaking collection consider the significance of varied early American fragmentary genres and practices—from diaries and poetry, to almanacs and commonplace books, to sermons and lists, to Indigenous ruins and other material shards and fragments—often overlooked by critics in a scholarly privileging of the “whole.” Contributors from literary studies, book history, and visual culture discuss a host of canonical and non-canonical figures, from Edward Taylor and Washington Irving to Mary Rowlandson and Sarah Kemble Knight, offering insight into the many intellectual, ideological, and material variations of “form” that populated the early American cultural landscape. As these essays reveal, the casting of the fragmentary as aesthetically eccentric or incomplete was a way of reckoning with concerns about the related fragmentation of nation, society, and self. For a contemporary audience, they offer new ways to think about the inevitable gaps and absences in our cultural and historical archive.

MATTHEW PETHERS is an associate professor of American intellectual and cultural history at the University of Nottingham in the UK. He is the editor of The Edinburgh Companion to Nineteenth-Century American Letters and Letter-Writing and is currently coediting volume two of The Collected Writings of Charles Brockden Brown (Bucknell University Press).

DANIEL DIEZ COUCH is an associate professor of English at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, where he teaches eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American literature. He is the author of American Fragments: The Political Aesthetic of Unfinished Forms in the Early Republic.
Product Details ISBN: 9781684485086
ISBN-10: 1684485088
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Publication Date: April 12th, 2024
Pages: 292
Language: English
Series: Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850
“Brilliantly shows that respecting the plural, disjunctive, and fragmentary character of much early American writing makes marginalized genres interesting, and permits us to read women, minority writers, and history itself in exciting new ways. Highly recommended!”
— Eve Tavor Bannet

“This book bristles with new claims, local insights, and a bona fide enthusiasm of renovation. Its conceptual interventions and its roving, voracious engagement with all kinds of cultural objects will make it a touchstone in the field. I imagine colleagues buying the book, using it in their writing and teaching, and repeatedly skipping and skimming their way through the essays with pleasure.”
— Matthew Garrett

“This excellent collection offers a compelling new view of literary textuality in early America... the pieces are well written and reader-friendly. I found myself carried along, learning a great deal about texts and authors that I have long studied and others that I have hardly known. Strong from beginning to end.”
— Abram Van Engen