Download Accented America: The Cultural Politics of Multilingual by Joshua L. Miller PDF

By Joshua L. Miller

American literary works written within the heyday of modernism among the Eighteen Nineties and Nineteen Forties have been playfully, painfully, and ambivalently engaged with language politics. The immigrant waves of the interval fed into writers' aesthetic experimentation; their works, in flip, rewired rules approximately nationwide identification besides literary shape. Accented the USA looks on the lengthy background of English-Only Americanism-the political declare that U.S. voters needs to converse a novel, shared American tongue-and lines its motion within the language workshop that's literature. The extensively multi-ethnic set of writers introduced into dialog here-including Gertrude Stein, Jean Toomer, Henry Roth, Nella Larsen, John Dos Passos, Lionel Trilling, Américo Paredes, and Carlos Bulosan-reflect the big demographic shifts happening through the interwar years. those authors proportion an acute wisdom of linguistic standardization whereas additionally following the defamiliarizing sway produced by way of experimentation with invented and mistaken literary vernaculars. instead of confirming the powerfully seductive subtext of monolingualism-that those that converse alike are ethically and politically likeminded-multilingual modernists compose literature that speaks to a rustic of artificial syntaxes, singular hybrids, and enduring strangeness.

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