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Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time
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Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  2 reviews
What we call American literature is quite often a shorthand, a simplified name for an extended tangle of relations." This is the argument of "Through Other Continents," Wai Chee Dimock's sustained effort to read American literature as a subset of world literature.

Inspired by an unorthodox archive--ranging from epic traditions in Akkadian and Sanskrit to folk art, paintings
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published October 2nd 2006 by Princeton University Press
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Sofia Samatar
This book is a breathtaking roller-coaster ride through American literature, but not the American literature you usually find in anthologies. Dimock's study embraces texts like the Bhagavad Gita and the Egyptian Book of the Dead, engages with disciplines like geometry and physics, and places Henry James beside Gilgamesh and Coyote stories beside the legends of Hanuman. Best of all, you can actually read it. Oh, how I love literary criticism that's also good writing!

I was a little disappointed in
A scholarly book about American literature and how we should think about it not in terms of the nation but in terms of the planet, not in terms of the century but in terms of "deep time" that can draw unexpected links and even create simultaneity between the ancient past and the contemporary.

Some of this book is mind-blowing...and some of its metaphors and ideas drawn from other fields (like fractal geometry as an analogue to literary genre studies) will I am sure stay with me. I'll admit that I
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