Cold war allegories and the politics of criticism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

That Melville has been the object of numerous “political” readings is not news. Melville is credited with perpetuating, reflecting, or subverting a host of ideological structures, among them imperialism, slavery, national expansion, market capitalism, anticolonialism, and heteronormativity. Reading Melville politically is also not new. In the mid-twentieth century, as Americans came to terms with the collapse of what had seemed to some the utopian promise of the leftist activism of the 1930s, Richard Chase, an eminent literature professor at Columbia University, turned to Melville to formulate a new version of liberalism. Chase is best known as the author of the influential study The American Novel and Its Tradition (1957), one of the earliest “myth and symbol” studies often criticized for forming a “consensus” around American “character” through the establishment of a canon of “great” American literature. Although less well known, his earlier monograph, Herman Melville: A Critical Study (1949), a foundational text in Melville’s Cold War “revival,” is more important for Melville studies, which gained in breadth and sophistication following the end of World War II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages219-232
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781139149952
ISBN (Print)9781107023130
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Fingerprint

Criticism
Cold War
Allegories
Leftist
Revival
Utopian
1930s
Heteronormativity
Sophistication
Canon
Slavery
Activism
Anti-colonialism
Herman Melville
News
Imperialism
Symbol
Second World War
American Literature
American Novels

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Castiglia, C. D. (2012). Cold war allegories and the politics of criticism. In The New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville (pp. 219-232). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCO9781139149952.017
Castiglia, Christopher Dean. / Cold war allegories and the politics of criticism. The New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville. Cambridge University Press, 2012. pp. 219-232
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Castiglia, CD 2012, Cold war allegories and the politics of criticism. in The New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville. Cambridge University Press, pp. 219-232. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCO9781139149952.017

Cold war allegories and the politics of criticism. / Castiglia, Christopher Dean.

The New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville. Cambridge University Press, 2012. p. 219-232.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Castiglia CD. Cold war allegories and the politics of criticism. In The New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville. Cambridge University Press. 2012. p. 219-232 https://doi.org/10.1017/CCO9781139149952.017