About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: Dwelling in the Text: Houses in American ...
Publisher: Univ of California Press, Ewing, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 1991
Book Condition: Fine+
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
About this title
What is a house? And what can architecture tell us about individual psychology, national character and aspiration? The house holds a central place in American mythology, as Marilyn Chandler demonstrates in a series of "house tours" through American novels, beginning with Thoreau's Walden and ending with Toni Morrison's Beloved and Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping.
Chandler illuminates the complex analogies between house and psyche, house and family, house and social environment, and house and text. She traces a historical path from settlement to unsettledness in American culture and explores all the rituals in between: of building, decorating, inhabiting, and abandoning houses. She notes the ambivalence between our desire for rootedness and our romanticization of wide open spaces, relating these poles to the tension between materialism and spirituality in our national character.
At a time when housing has become a problem of unprecedented dimensions in America, this look at the place of houses and homes in the American imagination reveals some sources of the attitudes, assumptions, and expectations that underlie the designing and building of the homes we buy, sell, and dream about.
"A fresh and convincing view of the American imagination."—William Howarth, author of The Book of Concord: Thoreau's Life as a Writer
"Examines the metaphor of the house in the work of such diverse writers as Thoreau, Poe, Edith Wharton and Toni Morrison, raising clearly and elegantly questions about the house and the social environment, the house and the psyche, the house and the text, the house and gender. This is a bright, enlightening, and stimulating book."—Diana O. Hehir, author of I Wish This War Were Over
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