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Title: Time's Blood: Love, Living Memory, and 19th Century U.S. Fictions
Authors: Norton, Ingrid
Advisors: FussRivett, DianaSarah
Contributors: English Department
Keywords: George Washington Cable
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Living Memory
Pauline Hopkins
Romantic Love
The Novel
Subjects: American literature
American studies
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Time’s Blood: Love, Living Memory, and 19th Century U.S. Fictions looks at the way three novelists reimagined the racial and religious contours of the long 19th century by telling love stories. I focus on living memory as a new category of generic analysis, emphasizing generational proximity rather than standard historical periods through new readings of The Minister’s Wooing by Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Grandissimes by George Washington Cable, and Winona by Pauline Hopkins. Each author wrote during a tumultuous period—the coming of the Civil War; the implosion of Reconstruction; and the turn-of-the-century spike in lynchings. The periods they revisited—the United States’ first decade as a nation in the 1790s; the Louisiana Purchase; and the 1850s lead-up to the Civil War—were likewise times of enormous upheaval. For each writer, romancing the recent past provided a slant window on the possibilities of their present and future. Time’s Blood argues for a new subgenre of historical fiction, the novel of living memory, set forty to eighty years into the past—within the space of a few generations—that draws on the artistic, material, and remembered traces of the recent but receding past. In particular, I focus on romantic plots set in the middle distance of living memory, in which lovers’ happy or unhappy ends are dense with symbolism for the trajectory of American culture. This gives us a new way to view the stories the U.S. told about itself in the 19th century—and a new framework for analyzing the larger process of recollection, reimagining, and storytelling at work in other eras, including our own.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:English

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