By B. Miller
In an cutting edge analyzing of fin-de-si?cle cultural texts, Brook Miller argues that British representations of the United States, americans, and Anglo-American relatives on the flip of the 20 th century supplied an incredible discussion board for cultural distinction. reading America, Miller finds, provided an oblique type of self-scrutiny for British writers and readers, who remained properly insulated by way of the prevalence that critiquing American distinction invoked.
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Additional info for America and the British Imaginary in Turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century Literature
By replacing discovery with detection, Wilde coyly points to America as both unromantic—a pest or a threat—and symptomatic of cancers within the home culture. Where Donne’s America is a projection screen, Wilde’s is a palimpsest. This chapter examines a variety of travel narratives to give a sense of the changing rhetoric of authorship in British texts about America through the nineteenth century. In particular, the texts provide evidence of the emergence of several tropes—intertextual reference to other travel narratives and discourse about the United States, ideological analysis of American nationalism, and coordinated critiques of Americans and ordinary British subjects.
The bootmaker is indoctrinated in, not guided by, American values. The pedagogical aspects of the travelogue expanded in the multiple introductions written for various editions, repeatedly reemphasizing the proper standards for passing judgment. com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromsoe - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-05 32 33 the book on standards other than those established by its own “design and purpose” (Dickens 275). Proper criticism and reading, Dickens implies, issue from observation, reflection upon the Ideal to which a real object, person, or event owes its form, and careful, limited judgment levied only after a sufficient amount of experience has been processed.
This positionality includes an embrace of the John Bull stereotype, and according to Mulvey, “the Englishman travelling abroad was likely to turn himself for the duration of his travels into a caricature self” (15). Mulvey’s assertion of the importance of this positionality is born out in this chapter and elsewhere in this study. Yet his claims about gentility and embracing John Bullishness overlook the influence of visions of cultural reform; key changes in the image of John Bull and the other dominant national icon, Britannia; and broader changes in British society and the nation’s international position.
America and the British Imaginary in Turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century Literature by B. Miller