Making new worlds 2. Lands of desire: the pattern of literature in the new world of the United States

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McLaren, John (1990) Making new worlds 2. Lands of desire: the pattern of literature in the new world of the United States. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

Abstract

Contains a discourse on the ‘new literatures’ emerging in the United States, following the history of the European colonisation of the Americas and arrival of African slaves. Every new culture is engaged in a quest for identity, and must therefore continually seek for its point of origin, the moment or pattern which separates it from the imperial culture. Settler cultures are likely to place this point at the occasion of their declaration of independence, the occasion which defined them as independent entities. Subjugated cultures are more likely to reach back to the times before their subjugation, finding their new independence in an independent past. Both definitions of independence are examples of the movement from the historical present to a mythological past in order to create fictions which provide space to move in the present (Wieland, 1989). Cultures of neither kind can afford to ignore the period of colonial rule which has reshaped their cultural tradition, whether this tradition is indigenous or comes from the imperial source.

Item type Other
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/17554
Subjects Current > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Current > Collections > McLaren Papers
Keywords Literature, new worlds, human rights, culture, settlers, fiction, novels, mythology, MCLAREN-BOXD10-DOC5
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