Edgar Allan Poe and the Great Dismal Swamp: Reading Race and Environment after the Aesthetic Turn

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Abstract

This essay argues for an ecological aesthetic, as interwoven with a larger environment that also includes meter, form, bioregion, history, and embodied experience, to offer a more robust account of nineteenth-century genius than the liberal Enlightenment tradition, with which genius has been almost exclusively associated. Rather than examine the legal subjectivities Poe explores in his detective or criminal fiction, it focuses on fugitive subjectivities in one of his most famous (yet surprisingly little studied) poems, “Dream-Land” (1844), which figures genius as a maroon in the liminal space of Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-387
Number of pages28
JournalModern Philology
Volume114
Issue number2
Early online date21 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Black Humanities

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