Horizons of Enchantment is about the peculiar power and exceptional pull of the imaginary in American culture. Johannessen's subject here is the almost mystical American belief in the promise and potential of the individual, or the reliance on a kind of "modern magic" that can loosely be characterized as a fundamental and unwavering faith in the secular sanctity of the American project of modernity. Among the diverse topics and cultural artifacts she examines are the Norwegian American novel A Saloonkeeper's Daughter by Drude Krog Janson, Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, Rodolfo Gonzales's I Am Joaquin, Richard Ford's The Sportwriter, Ana Menendez's In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd, essays by Samuel Huntington and Richard Rodriquez, and the 2009 film Sugar, about a Dominican baseball player trying to make it in the big leagues. In both her subject matter and perspective, Johannessen reconfigures and enriches questions of the transnational and exceptional in American studies.
Publisher: University Press of New England
Number of pages: 168
Weight: 550 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
Despite the wide range of historical periods she covers (from the 19th century to the 21st), Johannessen s focus on the imaginary is strong, and she makes insightful connections. Though inexperienced readers may be perplexed by the plentiful theoretical jargon, more advanced readers will likely appreciate Johannessen s unique take on American literature. Choice"
The strength of this book is in its approach. It does not ignore traditional American Studies or past reflections but rather side-steps them and comes to them via a different path. Johannessen says her readings attempt to calibrate how the imaginary s contours materialize and, overall, she does this well. Transnational Literature"