North American Titles

Jon Thompson - After Paradise

£9.95

Jon Thompson - After Paradise

Paperback, 136pp, 9x6ins

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Written in the lyrical tradition of D.H. Lawrence's Studies in Classic American Literature, Walter Benjamin's Illuminations and Susan Howe's My Emily Dickinson, After Paradise. Essays on the Fate of American Writing lays bare the richness of classic American texts and their fraught relationship with what Jon Thompson sees as a culture of violence and war. Focusing on William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, Walt Whitman's Specimen Days, Emily Dickinson's Letters and Michael Herr's Dispatches, After Paradise offers a series of moving, interconnected reflections upon what Thompson calls "the fate of American writing." For Thompson, that fate is reflected in the aspirations key American writers have had for their writing, the work they want it to do in a society hostile — or indifferent — to artistic expression, and the stylistic inventiveness it displays in facing a culture marked by violence, war, death and materialism. Part cultural reflection, part lyrical criticism, part idiosyncratic literary history, After Paradise attempts to restore a sense of the original strangeness of American literature and culture by pushing the boundaries of the essay form.

 

 

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