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The Portrait and the Book: Illustration and Literary Culture in Early America by Megan Walsh (review)

The Portrait and the Book: Illustration and Literary Culture in Early America by Megan Walsh... Book Reviews { 611 The continuing attraction of Blake for this tradition—most obviously per - haps in Allen Ginsberg—suggests a complex series of s re elf- cognitions, a desire and disavowal of “militant rites of dissent in the revolutionary her - i tage and [its] corresponding suspicion of all utopian projects . . . [tha- t] en vision a homogeneous society, a political consensus, defined by an ‘ind -us trial army’ ” (208). Mac Kilgore’s tight definition of the enthusiastic tradition slashes through these tangled Gordian knots, perhaps making too little of the problems of enthusiasm as an empowering platform for a democratic politics, but Mania for Freedom is a stimulating read, and certainly asks provoking questions about the American mythos of “liberty.” Its long nineteenth- century perspective, like its refusal to see enthusiasm as a - nar rowly Anglo- P rotestant issue, places it in good company with Jordana Rosenberg’s Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transfor- mation of Religious Passion (Oxford University Press, 2011). There, “enthu - siasm” becomes the disciplinary object of a capitalist modernity. For both Mac Kilgore and Rosenberg, if in very different ways, enthusiasm recurs as the troubling other of an idea of liberty http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Literature University of North Carolina Press

The Portrait and the Book: Illustration and Literary Culture in Early America by Megan Walsh (review)

Early American Literature , Volume 53 (2) – Jun 14, 2018

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1534-147X

Abstract

Book Reviews { 611 The continuing attraction of Blake for this tradition—most obviously per - haps in Allen Ginsberg—suggests a complex series of s re elf- cognitions, a desire and disavowal of “militant rites of dissent in the revolutionary her - i tage and [its] corresponding suspicion of all utopian projects . . . [tha- t] en vision a homogeneous society, a political consensus, defined by an ‘ind -us trial army’ ” (208). Mac Kilgore’s tight definition of the enthusiastic tradition slashes through these tangled Gordian knots, perhaps making too little of the problems of enthusiasm as an empowering platform for a democratic politics, but Mania for Freedom is a stimulating read, and certainly asks provoking questions about the American mythos of “liberty.” Its long nineteenth- century perspective, like its refusal to see enthusiasm as a - nar rowly Anglo- P rotestant issue, places it in good company with Jordana Rosenberg’s Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transfor- mation of Religious Passion (Oxford University Press, 2011). There, “enthu - siasm” becomes the disciplinary object of a capitalist modernity. For both Mac Kilgore and Rosenberg, if in very different ways, enthusiasm recurs as the troubling other of an idea of liberty

Journal

Early American LiteratureUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 14, 2018

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