American Literature, Volume 75, Number 2, June 2003. Copyright Â© 2003 by Duke University Press. American Literature polities. Nevertheless, over two centuries after his near-liquefaction at the hands of well-meaning surgeons, it would seem that Washingtonâs disjecta membra remain touchstones of national subjectivity for many who are otherwise unconscious of or repelled by vestiges of monarchal fetishism in their experience of democratic state sovereignty.2 Washingtonâs false teeth, bits of his hair, and other personal relics have been circulating among the nationâs cultural institutions in honor, recently, of the 200th anniversary of his death and also as part of the continuing eï¬ort to assess the visibility and value of his posthumous image in the changing contexts of its manipulation.3 As contributors to this ongoing work of remembrance, writers of ï¬ction, like so many historians, biographers, and exhibit curators, have sought to portray a Washington more personally compelling than the abstract or monumental ï¬gure he commonly strikes; a Washington not yet purged of singularity; a Washington of depth, interiority, even edginess. For example, at one point in Thomas Pynchonâs novel, Mason & Dixon, the title characters visit Washington at home, and he invites them to sample Mount Vernonâs newest cash
American Literature – Duke University Press
Published: Jun 1, 2003
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