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Authorizing Experience: Refigurations of the Body Politic in Seventeenth-Century New England Writing



Author: Egan, Jim

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Format: Adobe PDF

Content Language: English

eBook ISBN: 9781400801831

Print ISBN: 9780691059495

Size: 943 KB

Pages: 184

Publication Date: 2001-02-15

Category:
Literary Criticism > American > General

Compatible Software:
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Encryption: Adobe DRM
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$10.99

Authorizing Experience: Refigurations of the Body Politic in Seventeenth-Century New England Writing
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DESCRIPTION
The emphasis on practical experience over ideology is viewed by many historians as a profoundly American characteristic, one that provides a model for exploring the colonial challenge to European belief systems and the creation of a unique culture. Here Jim Egan offers an unprecedented look at how early modern American writers helped make this notion of experience so powerful that we now take it as a given rather than as the product of hard-fought rhetorical battles waged over ways of imagining one's relationship to a larger social community. In order to show how our modern notion of experience emerges from a historical change that experience itself could not have brought about, he turns to works by seventeenth-century writers in New England and reveals the ways in which they authorized experience, ultimately producing a rhetoric distinctive to the colonies and supportive of colonialism.


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