Transnational Na(rra)tion: Home and Homeland in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. By John Dolis. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press. 2015. xii, 199 pp. Cloth, $75.00; e-book, $74.99.
Eschewing literary criticism that has a political bent, Dolis seeks “the pleasure of the text alone.” Using deconstructive and psychoanalytic theory, he examines works by Benjamin Franklin, Washington Irving, Frederick Douglass, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Mark Twain, examining how the relation between citizen and subject relies on otherness. In each chapter, he chooses literary texts that define American identity as the coupling with a “foreign body,” locating an alterity every time American identity is performed.
Communities of Death: Whitman, Poe, and the American Culture of Mourning. By Adam C. Bradford. Columbia: Univ. of Missouri Press. 2014. xii, 248 pp. Cloth, $60.00; e-book, $60.00.
This study critiques the critical tendency to marginalize Edgar Allan Poe’s relation to Walt Whitman. The book...