Writing and Postcolonialism in the Early Republic

University of Virginia Press, 1998 - 225 páginas
Writing and Postcolonialism in the Early Republic is the first book-length analysis of early American literature through the lens of postcolonial theory. Although the United States represented a colonizing presence that displaced indigenous peoples and exported imperial culture, American colonists also found themselves exiled, often exploited and abused by the distant metropolitan center. In this innovative book, Edward Watts demonstrates how American post-Revolutionary literature exhibits characteristics of a postcolonial society.The author identifies six texts that particularly exhibit postcolonial qualities: Irving's Knickerbocker's History of New York, Brown's Arthur Mervyn, Murray's The Gleaner, Brackenridge's Modern Chivalry, Tyler's The Algerine Captive, and Watterston's The Lawyer. In each of these books a fictional protagonist attempts to write about the American experience using the language and genres left over from the colonial period. As the fictional authors fail, Watts suggests,we see the,real authors challenging and subverting the lingering colonial culture and its centrality to republican versions of the new nation. In the terms of contemporary postcolonial scholarship from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, these early American authors worked to decolonize American writing by freeing it from vestigial British conventions.

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George Watterstons The Lawyer
The Syllogistically Fatal World
Works Consulted
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Acerca del autor (1998)

Edward Watts is Assistant Professor in the Department of American Thought and Language at Michigan State University.

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