James Dorson’s first book is based on his doctoral dissertation at Free University of Berlin under the supervision of Ulla Haselstein, Winfried Fluck, and Heinz Ickstadt. As the title indicates, this study addresses significant issues in a sequence that ranges from the general to the particular. It falls into two major parts, the first part dealing with the cultural significance of both narratives and counternarratives in general, the second part with an important American example of the problematic discussed in the first part: Cormac McCarthy’s Westerns.Subdivided into four chapters, the first part of the study moves from a discussion of narrative and counternarrative possibilities (chapters 1 and 2) to more specifically American issues, such as the virgin land and the homeland myths (chapters 3 and 4). The main concern of these chapters and, in fact, the whole study is the attempt to map out a theory of narration that moves away from postmodernism’s exclusive focus on the constructedness of texts without reverting to the celebration of a realism that reproduces and thereby affirms the social status quo. In a sense, Dorson explores the politics of narrativity – modes of storytelling which anticipate social transformation without becoming unconvincing blueprints of
Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 28, 2018
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