All posts by Philip F. Gura

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Re-Imagining the American Novel

As most of us learn in high school and introductory college literature courses, the central drama of early American fiction involves a resourceful man confronting head-on the wonder, dangers, and vastness of America. Natty Bumppo, the Deerslayer, roams the wilderness of central New York; Ishmael ponders the frightening endlessness of the sea; Huck Finn “lights out” for the territories. We are told that such men—and they all are men—represent the American quest for independence, space, an…