Walking Blues: Making Americans from Emerson to Elvis
University of Massachusetts Press, 2001 - 288 páginas
Who or what is an American? Many scholars have recently argued that in a country of such vast cultural and ethnic diversity as the United States it is not useful or even possible to talk of a single national identity. Are people right to suggest that the very idea of Americanness is merely a myth designed to obscure the divisions among us? This is the central question addressed by Tim Parrish in this imaginative interdisciplinary study. Working in the tradition of the blues, an art form based on the adaptation of cultural past to present, Parrish seeks to show what happens when we think of American identity not as some transcendental entity or essence, but as an ongoing process. At the core of his analysis is an appreciation of the rich legacy of pragmatism, a distinctly American frame of mind that sees truth as an act rather than an object, as a matter of doing rather than being. While the philosophical roots of pragmatism can be found in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, William and Henry James, and Horace Kallen, the same intellectual approach informs the work of writers such as Ralph Ellison, Mary Antin, and Philip Roth as well as creative artists such as Son House, Elvis
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