By Andrew Warnes

ISBN-10: 1501319620

ISBN-13: 9781501319624

ISBN-10: 1623561078

ISBN-13: 9781623561079

American Tantalus argues that sleek US fictions frequently develop preoccupied by means of tantalisation. This key-phrase may appear usual; thesauruses, definitely, usually lump it in with tease and torment of their common inventories of wish. Such lists, even if, misinform. simply as such a lot US dictionaries have in reality lengthy regarded tantalise's origins in The Odyssey, so that they have outlined it because the special wish we suppose for gadgets that (like the fruit and water as soon as cruelly positioned earlier than Tantalus) lie inside of our succeed in but withdraw from our makes an attempt to the touch them.

On those phrases, American Tantalus exhibits, tantalise not just describes a specific form of thwarted wish, but in addition person who dominates sleek US fiction to a outstanding quantity. For this time period in particular conjures up the craving to the touch alienated or virginal items that we discover tested by means of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Toni Cade Bambara, Richard Wright and Toni Morrison; and it additionally shows the insatiable pursuit of the horizon so vital to Willa Cather and Edith Wharton between others. This eclectic canon certainly "prefers" the dictionary to the word list: unreachable locations and untouched commodities the following certainly tantalise, inviting gestures of inquiry from which they then balk. This concentration, whereas accommodation cycles of tantalisation on the very center of yankee fable, holds profound implications for our realizing of modernity, and, particularly, of the cultural genesis of the commodity as a form.

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American Tantalus: Horizons, Happiness, and the Impossible Pursuits of US Literature and Culture by Andrew Warnes


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