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ISBN:081391826X
Author: Kathleen Brogan
ISBN13: 978-0813918266
Title: Cultural Haunting: Ghosts and Ethnicity in Recent American Literature
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ePUB size: 1806 kb
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Language: English
Category: History and Criticism
Publisher: University of Virginia Press; 1st edition (November 29, 1998)
Pages: 228

Cultural Haunting: Ghosts and Ethnicity in Recent American Literature by Kathleen Brogan



In Cultural Haunting, Kathleen Brogan makes the case that this recent preoccupation with ghosts stems not from a lingering interest in Gothic themes Ghost stories in various forms have been a part of popular literature for centuries, from Shakespeare to Dickens to Faulkner. Over the past twenty-five years, a resurgence of haunting plots has occurred in American literature

American Literature 7. (1999) 815-816 To Kathleen Brogan the contemporary boomlet in ghost stories tells an important literary-critical narrative about ethnicity and historiography. This book’s chapters treat various characters’ struggles to work through different racially and ethnically inflected traumas. Drawing on sociologist Robert Hertz’s 1960 studies of social mourning and his analysis of double burial (when ritual reburial transforms a malevolent specter into a benevolent ancestral spirit), Brogan theorizes a new transethnic genre (16).

In Cultural Haunting: Ghosts and Ethnicity in Recent American Literature, Karen Brogan argues for recognition of a new ‘pan-ethnic’ literary genre, ‘the story of cultural haunting’. In close readings of six contemporary novels by markedly ethnic An1erican women, Brogan notes the pervasive presence of Gothic elements in such works and finds in each a reiteration of her new genre’s masterplot, in which characters come to terms with their ethnic identities by confronting their ‘haunted’ pasts. In an extensive introductory chapter, Brogan details the parameters of the genre of ’cultural haunting’ stories. Situating her analysis within the context of recent scholarship on ethnicity, Brogan nods most strongly to Werner Sollors as an avatar of ’the d camp’ (13).

In this text, Kathleen Brogan makes the case that this recent preoccupation with ghosts stems not from a lingering interest in Gothic themes but instead from a whole new genre in American literature that she calls "the story of cultural haunting". Examining Louise Erdich's "Tracks", Toni Morrison's "Beloved" and Cristina Garcia's "Dreaming in Cuban", Brogan argues that modern ghost stories offer a way for minority writers to come to terms with their lost cultural identities. The ghosts found in contemporary American literature lead us to the heart of our nation's discourse about multiculturalism and ethnic identity. See all Product description.

Cultural Haunting: Ghosts and Ethnicity in Recent American Literature. Kathleen Brogan," Modern Philology 99, no. 3 (Fe. 2002): 509-511.

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To Kathleen Brogan the contemporary boomlet in ghost stories tells an important literary-critical narrative about ethnicity and historiography. The term derives from a (tongue-in-cheek) Derrida, whose Specters of Marx (1993) approaches ghosts as ultraparadoxical cultural phenomena requiring a hybridized approach to mourning via philosophy, hermeneutics, anthropology, and psychoanalysis-work that would have deepened Brogan’s theoretical base

ethnicity and literature, Cultural Haunting: Ghosts and Ethnicity in Recent American Literature, proposes that cultural haunting is a separate, contemporary genre of ethnic literature in which the ghost is an enigmatic transitional gure moving between past and present, death and life, one culture and another (Brogan 1998, 6). This book examines three recent American novels, each about a different ghost, in detail: Toni. Morrison’s Beloved (1987), Louise Erdrich’s Tracks (1988), and Cristina Garcia’s Dreaming in Cuban (1992).

In her book, Cultural Haunting, Kathleen Brogan indicates that this recent preoccupation of African American writers with ghosts stems – not from a persistent interest in Gothic themes – but from a whole new genre in American literature that she calls "the story of cultural haunting: Cultural ghost stories, which feature the haunting of a people by the ghosts of its own past, represent one way a group actively revises its relationship to the past. Not surprisingly, these stories tend to emerge in the aftermath of times of swift and often traumatic change, when old social bonds have been. Cultural Haunting: Ghosts and Ethnicity in Recent American Literature. Charlottesville, PA: University Press of Virginia, 1998. American Stories of Cultural Haunting: Tales of Heirs and Ethnographer.

Ghost stories in various forms have been a part of popular literature for centuries, from Shakespeare to Dickens to Faulkner. Over the past twenty-five years, a resurgence of haunting plots has occurred in American literature. In Cultural Haunting, Kathleen Brogan makes the case that this recent preoccupation with ghosts stems not from a lingering interest in Gothic themes but instead from a whole new genre in American literature that she calls "the story of cultural haunting."

Examining Louis Erdrich's Tracks, Toni Morrison's Beloved, and Cristina Garcia's Dreaming in Cuba, Brogan argues that modern ghost stories offer a way for minority authors to come to terms with their lost cultural identities. At the heart of this process, she contends, is the experience of mourning as that form of memory determined by an awareness of a break with the past. While conscious of the cultural differences among these haunted tales of slavery, colonization, and immigration, the author demonstrates that they all function similarly: to re-create ethnic identity by imaginatively recovering a collective history that in many cases has been fragmented or erased. Her readings show how the specific histories and local meanings support the pan-ethnic genre she has defined.

The book suggests that modern stories of haunting reflect the increased emphasis on ethnic and racial differentation in American society over the past thirty years. The ghosts found in contemporary American literature lead us to the heart of our nation's discourse about multiculturalism and ethnic identity.