The Poetics of Insecurity -

The Poetics of Insecurity

American Fiction and the Uses of Threat



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The Poetics of Insecurity turns the emerging field of literary security studies upside down. Rather than tying the prevalence of security to a culture of fear, Johannes Voelz shows how American literary writers of the past two hundred years have mobilized insecurity to open unforeseen and uncharted horizons of possibility for individuals and collectives. In a series of close readings of works by Charles Brockden Brown, Harriet Jacobs, Willa Cather, Flannery O'Connor, and Don DeLillo, Voelz brings to light a cultural imaginary in which conventional meanings of security and insecurity are frequently reversed, so that security begins to appear as deadening and insecurity as enlivening. Timely, broad-ranging, and incisive, Johannes Voelz's study intervenes in debates on American literature as well as in the interdisciplinary field of security studies. It fundamentally challenges our existing explanations for the pervasiveness of security in American cultural and political life.

Product code: 9781108418768

ISBN 9781108418768
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H235xW158xS20
No. Of Pages 256
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Series Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture
The Poetics of Insecurity addresses a key concern of modern America - security - through close readings of American literary works. It combines literary studies with the philosophy of time and sociological theories of modernity, and provides new approaches to canonical American authors from the past two centuries.