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Horizons of Enchantment

Essays in the American Imaginary

Horizons of Enchantment is about the peculiar power and exceptional pull of the imaginary in American culture. Johannessen’s subject here is the almost mystical American belief in the promise and potential of the individual, or the reliance on a kind of “modern magic” that can loosely be characterized as a fundamental and unwavering faith in the secular sanctity of the American project of modernity. Among the diverse topics and cultural artifacts she examines are the Norwegian American novel A Saloonkeeper’s Daughter by Drude Krog Janson, Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, Rodolfo Gonzales’s I Am Joaquín, Richard Ford’s The Sportwriter, Ana Menéndez’s In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd, essays by Samuel Huntington and Richard Rodriquez, and the 2009 film Sugar, about a Dominican baseball player trying to make it in the big leagues. In both her subject matter and perspective, Johannessen reconfigures and enriches questions of the transnational and exceptional in American studies.

168 pages | 6 x 9

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory


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Table of Contents

Foreword • Preface • Acknowledgments • Introduction • The Imaginary • “Perpetual Progress” in Drude Krog Janson’s A Saloonkeeper’s Daughter • Songs of Different Selves: Whitman and Gonzales • The “Long Empty Moment”: Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter • “Relations Stretched Out” in the American Imaginary • Recalling America: Huntington and Rodriguez • Notes • Bibliography • Index

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