Nation and Region in Modern American and European Fiction

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About this title

Purdue University Press
2009

Description

In his book Nation and Region in Modern American and European Fiction, Thomas O. Beebee analyzes fictional texts as a "discursive territoriality" that shape readers' notions of (and ambivalence about) national and regional belonging. Several canonical works of literary fiction have provided their readers with verbal maps that in their depictions of boundary spaces construct indirect images of national territory and geography. Beebee analyzes the historical and cultural diversity in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's, Nikolai Gogol’s, and Ivan Turgenev's competing geographies of Russia and its empire, Euclides da Cunha's ambivalent nomination of the sertanejo (backlander) as the "bedrock of the Brazilian race," William Faulkner's and Jose Lins do Rego's cultural memories of the plantation, Jose Maria Arguedas's novelistic ethnogeographies of Andean culture, Juan Benet's construction of region as both metaphor and metonym for Francoist Spain, and the "utopian" North American (U.S. and Canada) desert landscapes of Mary Austin, Nicole Brossard, and Joy Harjo.