7 color plates
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Material culture has long played a vital role in the American literary imagination, yet scholars in literary and cultural studies have only recently (re)discovered the object world as a subject of critical inquiry. Contemplating the aesthetic and narrative forms of material life in American fiction as well as theoretical concepts of materiality, The Literary Life of Things partakes in this renewed attention to the physical world within the humanities and social sciences, variously designated as new materialism or material turn. Setting out from the observation that objects have a much-neglected life in fiction, Babette Bärbel Tischleder aims to bring scenes of animation to the forefront and, by focusing on the trajectories of inanimate things, to ask how human aspirations, fantasies, practices, memories, and self-concepts rely upon the object world in American literature and culture.