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By B. Miller

In an leading edge studying of fin-de-si?cle cultural texts, Brook Miller argues that British representations of the USA, american citizens, and Anglo-American family on the flip of the 20th century supplied a big discussion board for cultural distinction.  studying America, Miller finds, provided an oblique type of self-scrutiny for British writers and readers, who remained thoroughly insulated through the prevalence that critiquing American distinction invoked.

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How does “positionality” fit into the intertwining of history and ideology? As I am using the term, positionality designates an effect du text rather than a presupposition. What do we take away from literature? I am reminded of the famous remark that understanding is what remains once we’ve forgotten what we’ve learned. com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromsoe - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-05 Introduction 20 America and the British Imaginary Wilde’s Amer ican Per for mance Oscar Wilde provides a strong example of how the positionality associated with the cultural turn enfolds pedagogical messages in performativity and confrontation of the American other.

Between an Englishman and an Italian.  . behind the flash of his passion there shines always the steady light of dry, hard, practical reason. Shrewd yet excitable, hot-hearted and coolheaded, he combines the northern and the southern temperaments, and yet is utterly distinct from either. He has developed into a new sort of Anglo-Saxon, a new national character, a new race” (Steevens 309). Steevens conflates Anglo-Saxon, national character, and race rhetorics, reflecting the ambiguities that attended these concepts in the minds of many Victorian writers.

Dickens begins with an apology for the opinions to follow because his task has been to “resist the temptation of troubling my readers with my own deductions and conclusions” (266). He proceeds to declare Americans “by nature brave, cordial, hospitable, and affectionate,” and praises the combination of this predisposition with “cultivation and refinement in educated Americans” (266).  . to the whole people” but are deficient among the masses as a result of several “blemish[es] in the popular mind,” including “Universal Distrust” and the love of “smart dealing” (266, 267).

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