American Obscurantism: History and the Visual in U.S. Literature and Film

ISBN : 9780199797318

Peter Lurie
232 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jul 2018
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American Obscurantism argues for a salutary indirection in US culture. Critiquing the impulse to see history in seminal works like Griffith's Birth of a Nation and the residual positivism of New Historicist methodology, the book challenges this shared visual epistemology . It traces meaningful exceptions to this pattern across canonical figures from US literature and film.


Introduction: Envisioning Obscurity: History, Racial Knowing, and the Perfect Whiteness of the Snow
Chapter 1: Seeing in the Dark Houses: History and Obscurity in Light in August and Absalom, Absalom!
Chapter 2 : Orders from the House: American Historicism in The Shining
Chapter 3: Fargo's Whitened Spaces: Race, History, and the Postmodern Sublime
Chapter 4: Queer Historicity in The Bridge
Conclusion: Rememory, the Visual, and America's Future History: Race and the Digital Turn
Works Cited

About the author: 

Peter Lurie is Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Richmond. He is the author of Vision's Immanence: Faulkner, Film, and the Popular Imagination (2004) and of articles on Faulkner, Hart Crane, critical race theory, and the cinema of Richard Linklater. He is the editor, with Ann J. Abadie, of Faulkner and Film: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha 2010 (2014). In 2015 he was a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Warsaw. Also in 2015 he was Visiting Professor of English at the University of Paris, Diderot. Prior to his position at Richmond he taught Anglo-American Cinema and modern literature as a Fellow at Keble College, Oxford and at Harvard in the History and Literature program.

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