By Susan Sontag
In America is a kaleidoscopic portrait of the USA at the cusp of modernity. As she did in her drastically well known novel The Volcano Lover, Susan Sontag casts a narrative situated long ago in a clean, provocative mild to create a fictional international packed with modern resonance.
In 1876 a gaggle of Poles led by way of Maryna Zalezowska, Poland's maximum actress, to migrate to the us and commute to California to chanced on a "utopian commune." whilst the commune fails, Maryna remains, learns English, and—as Marina Zalenska—forges a brand new, much more successful profession at the American degree, turning into a diva on par with Sara Bernhardt.
In the USA is approximately many stuff: a woman's look for self-transformation; the destiny of idealism; a existence within the theater; the numerous forms of love; and, no longer least of all, tales and storytelling itself. Operatic within the scope and depth of the feelings it depicts, richly exact and visionary in its account of the United States, and peopled with unforgettable characters. In America is the winner of the 2000 nationwide booklet Award for Fiction.
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Extra info for In America: A Novel
Such actions ‘most powerfully appeal to the great primary human affections: to those elementary feelings which subsist permanently in the race, and which are independent of time’ (1965: 593–4). Such an art escapes the predicament of the modern: the alienation of artists from his society, their Introduction: Victorian Poetics 7 conﬁnement to subjectivity as the material of art, and their location in a mundane contemporaneity. Arnold advocates a style appropriate to poetry as he conceived it: the grand style, in which beauty or elaborateness of expression does not offer itself as an independent pleasure, distracting the reader from the action.
Although one works with the visible world, the other with the spiritual, both try to ﬂash upon you in a sudden way a new and perfect sense of the artist’s intuition, rejecting all ready-made impressions and conclusions. Symons’s linking of impressionism to symbolism recalls how close throughout the Victorian period, from Tennyson to the PreRaphaelites, were a poetics centring upon visual impressions as a way of communicating an emotional landscape and a poetics evoking emotion through language distanced from its immediate referents.
He revises Arnold’s advice to the critic to see the object as in itself it really is; the aesthetic critic must ‘know one’s impression as it really is’. Having reduced experience so radically, Pater asserts that intensity of experience is the only success to which one can aspire. The love of art for its own sake offers the best way to achieve the ‘quickened, multiplied consciousness’ that Pater desires. Aesthetic poetry provides a distillation of a transﬁgured world, an artiﬁcial or earthly paradise.