Empire for Liberty: Melville and the Poetics of Individualism

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Princeton University Press, 1989 - Literary Criticism - 250 pages

Wai Chee Dimock approaches Herman Melville not as a timeless genius, but as a historical figure caught in the politics of an imperial nation and an "imperial self." She challenges our customary view by demonstrating a link between the individualism that enabled Melville to write as a sovereign author and the nationalism that allowed America to grow into what Jefferson hoped would be an "empire for liberty."

 

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Contents

Nation Self and Personification
3
Author as Monarch
42
Author as Subject
76
Blaming the Victim
109
Knowing the Victim
140
Personified Accounting
176
Notes
215
Index
245
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