Paul Giles has done important work reimagining North American literary history as allied rather than isolationist – revisioning American literature not as the definition of landlocked nation or exceptional homeland but as the product of transatlantic and continental traverses of forms and voices. In three books, Transatlantic Insurrections (2001), Atlantic Republic (2006), and The Global Remapping of American Literature (2011), he has uncovered the lines of influence and adaptation between North American, British, and European literary cultures. As a geographical materialist, he focuses on individual authors, overlaid with their spatial and historical environments from the colonialist, to the revolutionary, to the postmodern. But he is not an Archimedean, seeking a still perspective from somewhere above or beyond. Rather, his outlook is shaped by cartographical models of the globe with their surface mosaics of national territories and periods. Whether geographical, historical, or literary, the world is always remappable. His impulse is a deterritorialising one, looking out from within the literary work, that imaginary space from which selves, borders, hemispheres, the nation, the world can be reperceived and co-ordinates reversed or rotated.
Reimagining US literary history
Antipodean America: Australasia and the Constitution of U.S. Literature
by Paul Giles
Oxford University Press, $78.99 hb, 589 pp, 9780199301560
Philip Mead was born in Brisbane in 1953. From 1987 to 1994 he was Lockie Fellow in Creative Writing and Australian Literature in the...
By this contributor
If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.