Sunday, October 4, 2009
Harvard University Press has published A New Literary History of the United States edited by Werner Sollors and Greil Marcus. This is not a conventional history of U.S. literature, but U.S. history as reflected in its literature, and much of its subject matter has been selected for historical significance rather than literary merit alone. A snippet from the WSJ review: “In this thousand-page compendium...it's clear that nothing remains of the boundaries that traditionally separated literature, history and popular culture. The book comprises more than 200 essays on American life...In snapshots of a few thousand words each, the entries...put on display the exploring, tinkering and risk-taking that have contributed to the invention of America.. Major media reviews are gathered here, and this cool website provides generous samples from the book. Looks absolutely fascinating, and 3.7 pounds and 1128 pages for $32.97 from Amazon, that's got to be a bargain!