The Pathos of Authenticity

American Passions of the Real


1. Edition, 2010
294 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-5706-1
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: American Studies – A Monograph Series, Volume No.: 182
Available: 15.02.2010

Keywords: amerikanische Kultur, Authentizität, Realismus, U.S.A., 11. September 2001, Ellis, Bret Easton, Welch, John, Berryman, John, USA/ Religion, Neo-Pragmatismus, 9/11 (Nine Eleven), amerikanische Literatur


Throughout the last decade, observers of American culture have drawn attention to an emerging transformation: an apparent shift from postmodern irony and play to a revalorization of the real and authentic. This “turn” in cultural values has been linked to general conservative tendencies and the after-effects of September 11 as well as a lingering sense of crisis following post- Cold War triumphalism.
’The Pathos of Authenticity’ investigates this new valorization of the authentic and tests the explanations offered for the various “returns of the real” detectible in the current moment. In close readings and case studies, contributions hone in on aspects of American contemporaneity particularly shaped by discourses of authenticity. Topics include the significance of things in a world constituted via media representations, the prominence of trauma theory, renewed interest in autobiography, the pathos of religious experience, and efforts to define ethnicity as a source of authentic feeling.

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Miles Orvell in: Amerikastudien / American Studies, 56, 1 (2011), 150ff

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Paul Giles in: Journal of American Studies, Vol. 44 (2010), 804f

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in: Reference and Research Book News, Aug. 2010, 63