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American Houses: Literary Spaces of Resistance and Desire

Rodrigo ANDRÉS, Cristina ALSINA RÍSQUEZ (eds.)
Vicent CUCARELLA-RAMON,
Arturo CORUJO,
Mar GALLEGO,
Ian GREEN,
Michael JONIK,
Wyn KELLEY,
Cynthia LYTLE,
Carme MANUEL,
Paula MARTÍN-SALVÁN,
Elena ORTELLS,
Eva PUYUELO-UREÑA,
Dolores RESANO,
Cynthia STRETCH
Leiden: Brill
2022
978-90-04-52031-8

Already in 1854, Henry David Thoreau had declared in Walden that “Most men appear never to have considered what a house is” (225). Like Thoreau, many other renowned American writers have considered what houses are and, particularly, what houses do, and they have created fictional dwellings that function not only as settings, but as actual central characters in their works.

The volume is specifically concerned with the structure, the organization, and the objects inside houses, and argues that the space defined by rooms and their contents influences the consciousness, the imaginations, and the experiences of the humans who inhabit them.

 

CONTINGUT

American Houses, American Literature, Rodrigo Andrés   1

 

PART 1: HOUSES: QUEER AFFILIATIONS AND TEMPORALITIES

The House as Alternative to Familial Space and Time in Herman Melville’s “I and My Chimney”, Rodrigo Andrés   17

 

Paths Well-Trodden and “Desire Lines” in Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House, Cristina Alsina Rísquez   39

 

Queering the American Family Home: The Aesthetics of Place and the Ethos of Domesticity in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Elena Ortells   58

 

PART 2: THE LEGACY OF THE HOUSE DIVIDED

Cape Coast Castle in the Sky: Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the Im/possibility of the American Dream, Cynthia Lytle   77


The Haunted Plantation: Ghosts, Graves, and Transformation as Resistance in Charles W. Chesnutt’s The Conjure Woman, Ian Green   97


A House is a House is a House: Toni Morrison’s Politics of Domesticity, Redemption and Healing in Beloved and Home, Mar Gallego  115


The Politics of Affect with/in the African American Mansion in Stephanie Powell Watts’s No One Is Coming to Save Us, Vicent Cucarella-Ramon   135


“A Lot More Deadly”: Gender and the Black Spatial Imaginary in U.S. Prison Writings, Eva Puyuelo Ureña   153

 

PART 3: TROUBLED BOUNDARIES OF THE DOMESTIC SPACE

Thoreau’s Unhoused, Michael Jonik   173


Too Tight for Comfort: Shipboard Distance as the Prerequisite for Personal Intimacy in Herman Melville’s White-Jacket, Arturo Corujo   190


“Maybe There’s Nobody to Shoot”: The Disappearing Landlord in 20th-Century U.S. Fiction, Cynthia Stretch   208


Woody Guthrie’s House of Earth: A Manifesto in Adobe as a Response to Houselessness and Domicide in Post-Depression Years, Carme Manuel   226


The Arrivant in Toni Morrison’s Paradise: Deviation, Iteration, Intersection, Paula Martín-Salván   244


“A house at odds with itself”: Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered, Dolores Resano   266


Afterword: In a Fictional House, Wyn Kelley   283