By Sean McCann
There isn't any extra robust image in American political existence than the presidency, and a twin of presidential energy has had no much less profound an impression on American fiction. A top of Feeling is the 1st e-book to envision twentieth-century literature's deep fascination with the fashionable presidency and with the guidelines concerning the courting among nation energy and democracy that underwrote the increase of presidential authority. Sean McCann demanding situations winning serious interpretations via revelatory new readings of significant writers, together with Richard Wright, Gertrude Stein, Henry Roth, Zora Neale Hurston, Saul Bellow, Ralph Ellison, Norman Mailer, Don Delillo, and Philip Roth. He argues that those writers not just represented or satirized presidents, yet echoed political thinkers who solid the manager govt because the agent of the sovereign will of the yank humans. They seen the president as preferably a countrywide redeemer, and so they took that perfect as a version and rival for his or her personal paintings. A top of Feeling illuminates the elemental crisis with democratic sovereignty that informs the main leading edge literary works of the 20 th century, and indicates how those works helped redefine and bring up the position of govt energy in American tradition.
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Additional info for A Pinnacle of Feeling: American Literature and Presidential Government (20 21)
Since the Revolutionary era, the concept of popular sovereignty had been both central to American political thought and fundamentally contentious. Theoretically, whether the idea of sovereign rule should even apply to a democratic government was, as some anti-Federalists had emphasized, always questionable. Practically the Constitution rendered national sovereignty the origin of political institutions (“We the people . 65 Nineteenth-century constitutionalism, even after the Civil War, dealt with that problem by assuming the dual sovereignty of the states and the union and by emphasizing the Constitution, rather than the nation or the people, as the principle source of political authority.
Convinced that “the people of the Nation will have, more and more, a national point of view,” FDR frequently reiterated INTRODUCTION 18 his conviction that the chief executive “should speak as President of the whole people”—a mission that he emphasized, even more strongly than Wilson, contrasted to life on Capitol Hill, where “pests . . ”73 John F. ”74 Like FDR’s scorn for lobbyists and congressmen, Carter’s elevated rhetoric here captured a central presumption of the modern presidency. 75 In this manner, the modern presidency was typically envisioned not solely as a technique of more effective government, but as a solution to a philosophical and nearly spiritual problem lying near the heart of American liberalism.
His own personality reflected in narrow, restricted terms” (176). A cruel parody of “the response of recognition” that Bigger desperately seeks in the novel’s final book, Britten’s reflection points to a world characterized from top to bottom by cruelty and coercion—in which, Wright implies, the power to dominate, shadowed always by the knowledge of its own impermanence, can only sustain itself through the constant exercise of violence and fear (420). But then, having established that panorama of domination, Wright seeks to reverse it in the novel’s final book.