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American Literature as World Literature
Bloomsbury Academic

American Literature as World Literature

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American Literature as World Literature

For better or worse, America lives in the age of “worlded” literature. Not the world literature of nations and nationalities considered from most powerful and wealthy to the least. And not the world literature found with a map. Rather, the worlded literature of individuals crossing borders, mixing stories, and speaking in dialect. Where translation struggles to be effective and background is itself another story. The “worlded” literature of the multinational corporate publishing industry where the global market is all. The essays in this collection, from some of the most distinguished figures in American studies and literature, explore what it means to consider American literature as world literature.


"A dynamic anthology with thirteen essays that push beyond traditional comparative literature geographies and genres to ask how American literature is uniquely worldly… An important contribution to a burgeoning field of global American studies, American Literature as World Literature deserves to be widely read." – Comparative Literature Studies

“With its muscular, wide-ranging discussions of the relationship between world (particularly European) cultural heritage and American literature, this book offers challenging philosophical and critical discourse that frames and provides entree into current scholarly work on the topic. Summing Up: Recommended.” —CHOICE

American Literature as World Literature offers a kaleidoscopic take on the potentials and problems that come from seeing American literature beyond its usual territorial-and disciplinary-confines. Radically expanding and refreshing our geographical and temporal scales of critical analysis, Di Leo's pioneering volume assembles an outstanding and diverse group of scholars to probe the forms, themes, and investments of American writing from Whitman to Hustvedt.” —Stephen J. Burn, Reader in American Literature after 1945, University of Glasgow, UK

“Gathering an exceptional roster of highly distinguished scholars, Jeffrey Di Leo's wide-ranging collection brilliantly problematizes American literature as world literature to explore the elective affinities as much as the dangerous liaisons of words and worlds, poetics and politics, from the age of Emerson and Whitman to that of Amitav Ghosh and Siri Hustvedt. At once theoretically sophisticated, attentive to the entanglement of national and global histories, and mindful of the intricacies of literary form, these thought-provoking essays contribute to redefining the boundaries of American literary scholarship in a timely and innovative fashion.” —Thomas Constantinesco, Lecturer in American Literature, Université Paris Diderot, France, and member of the Institut Universitaire de France

“Endlessly surprising in its forays across continents and across media, this stylishly diverse volume takes us from Walt Whitman to James Baldwin, from The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects exhibit to political serials such as Tanner '88 and House of Cards. It shows just what opens up when we bracket the default limits of national borders. A must-read for all students of American literature and culture.” —Wai Chee Dimock, William Lampson Professor of English & American Studies, Yale University, USA

ISBN:  9781501354601