By Lene M. Johannessen
Horizons of attraction is set the extraordinary strength and unparalleled pull of the imaginary in American tradition. Johannessen’s topic here's the virtually mystical American trust within the promise and capability of the person, or the reliance on a type of “modern magic” which could loosely be characterised as a primary and unwavering religion within the secular sanctity of the yankee venture of modernity. one of the various issues and cultural artifacts she examines are the Norwegian American novel A Saloonkeeper’s Daughter by means of Drude Krog Janson, Walt Whitman’s music of Myself, Rodolfo Gonzales’s i'm Joaquín, Richard Ford’s The Sportwriter, Ana Menéndez’s In Cuba i used to be a German Shepherd, essays by way of Samuel Huntington and Richard Rodriquez, and the 2009 movie Sugar, a couple of Dominican baseball participant attempting to make it within the large leagues. In either her subject material and viewpoint, Johannessen reconfigures and enriches questions of the transnational and unheard of in American reports.
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Additional resources for Horizons of Enchantment: Essays in the American Imaginary
Two figures stand out. One is the repetition of “Hallelujah”; the other is the structure provided by the game of baseball itself as a metaphor for the dream and promise that America continues to offer. These are well-worn phrases, but it would be foolish not to recognize the abiding authority they hold, [ 16 ] The Imaginary now as much as ever. All of this may sound like a rehashing of old tropes, of the presumed universalism of things American. The argument, however, is broader than that, observing that the pace of modern processes quickens and slows, and that some tracks have struck a balance between understandings of individual and communal obligations and responsibilities in ways that attract and accommodate more easily than other tracks.
Every cultural act lives essentially on the boundaries, and it derives its seriousness and significance from this fact. 13 The social imaginary—the history of human collectivity and the radical imaginary—similarly cannot exist in isolation. Whichever society and institutions we talk about, they feed off of a multiplicity of encounters, remakings, and reimaginings, which they in turn feed, for the defining and renewing potential inherent in each hinges on its ability to react to, respond to, and, finally, accommodate a querying outside.
1 The story of protagonist Astrid Holm’s journey from Norway to late nineteenth-century America, moving from adolescence to adulthood and from failed actress to Unitarian minister, is a detailed and critical description of and from the Minneapolis of the 1880s that speaks to us across the centuries and contributes to our understanding of late-nineteenthcentury Atlantic and American literary history. It is, however, only recently, more than a century later, that this story, coming from a Norwegian immigrant community in the American Midwest, has become available to a broader, English-reading audience.