The Urban Sublime in American Literary Naturalism

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9780252067044: The Urban Sublime in American Literary Naturalism
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In this dynamic reappraisal of American literary naturalism, Christophe Den Tandt connects late nineteenth-century fiction to its romantic, urban gothic roots and to recent discussions of the sublime in postmodern theory. Den Tandt focuses on aspects of naturalist novels -- their use of hyperbole and hysteria, of the grotesque and the abject, of uncanniness and mesmerism -- that have often been left in the periphery of naturalist discourse. He argues that realistic strategies of literary representation can never succeed in depicting the urban environment since the logic of the city rests on a network of hidden relations. Naturalist texts try to resolve this dilemma by opposing sublime components and realistic documentary elements.

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