Transcendental Resistance

Un libro in lingua di Johannes Voelz edito da Univ Pr of New England, 2010

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Johannes Voelz offers a critique of the New Americanists through a stimulating and original reexamination of the iconic figure of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Voelz argues against the prevailing tendency among Americanists to see Emerson as the product of an "all-pervasive scope of cultural power." Instead he shows Emerson's philosophy to be a deft response to the requirements of lecturing professionally at the newly built lyceums around the country. Voelz brings to light a fascinating organic relationship between Emerson's dynamic style of thinking and the uplifting experience demanded by his public. This need for an audience-directed philosophy, the author argues, reveals the function of Emerson's infamous inconsistencies on such issues as representation, identity, and nation. It also poses a major counter-argument to the New Americanists' dim view of Emerson's individualism and his vision of the private man in public. Challenging the fundamental premises of the New Americanists, this study is an important, even path breaking guide to the future of American studies.

"With great subtlety and erudition, Johannes Voelz demonstrates that what is most consequential and exciting about Emerson's engagement of any subject lies in its irreducibility to the very ideological positions within which he has tended to seem most enmeshed. To this end, Transcendental Resistance's reconstruction of the interactive contexts of Emersonian expression is particularly cogent."ùLawrence Buell

"Everyone who studies American literature beyond the undergraduate level ought to ponder this thoughtful, comprehensive, and brilliant book. In addition to its keen new reading of Emerson, it offers a discriminatingùand, I would add, devastatingùanalysis of the regnant paradigm in the field"-Frederick Crews

"Johannes Voelz's Transcendental Resistance: The New Americanists and Emerson's Challenge is the best reading of Emerson in the last twenty years. It is the incitement of a trans-Atlantic conversation about the purposes and methods of American Studies, and an ideal way to launch our new series."-Donald E. Pease

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