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Home on the Horizon

America’s Search for Space, from Emily Dickinson to Bob Dylan

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Sally Bayley

In this study of space and place, Sally Bayley examines the meaning of ‘home’ in American literature and culture. Moving from the nineteenth-century homestead of Emily Dickinson to the present-day reality of Bob Dylan, Bayley investigates the relationship of the domestic frontier to the wide-open spaces of the American outdoors. In contemporary America, she argues, the experience of home is increasingly isolated, leading to unsettling moments of domestic fallout.
At the centre of the book is the exposed and often shifting domain of the domestic threshold: Emily Dickinson’s doorstep, Edward Hopper’s doors and windows, and Harper Lee’s front porch. Bayley tracks these historically fragile territories through contemporary literature and film, including Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men, Lars Von Trier’s Dogville, and Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford – works that explore local, domestic territories as emblems of nation. The culturally potent sites of the american home – the hearth, porch, backyard, front lawn, bathroom, and basement – are positioned in relation to the more conflicted sites of the American motel and hotel.

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Bibliography Primary Texts W. H. Auden, Collected Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1991). Paul Auster, The City of Glass (London: Faber & Faber, 1985). ——, Moon Palace (London: Faber & Faber, 1989). Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Minister’s Wooing (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Classics, 1999). Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine (London: Rupert Hart Davis, 1957). Anne Bradsheet, To My Husband and Other Poems (New York: Dover Thrift Editions, 2000). Frederika Bremer, The Homes of the New World, trans. Mary Howitt, 2 vols (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1854). Willa Cather, The Professor’s House (London: Virago, 1981). Raymond Chandler, From Where I’m Calling: New and Selected Stories (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1988). Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Coleridge’s Miscellaneous Criticism, ed. Thomas Middleton Raysor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1936). Susan Fenimore Cooper, ‘A Dissolving View’ in The Home Book of the Picturesque: Or American Scenery, Art and Literature Comprising a Series of Essays by Washington Irving, W. C. Bryant, Fenimore Cooper, And Others (Gainsville, FL: Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, 1967). Michael Cunningham, The Hours (1998) (London: Fourth Estate, 2003). Don DeLillo, White Noise (London: Picador, 1999). Charles Dickens, American Notes (New York: St Martin’s, 1985). Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems, ed. Thomas H. Johnson (London: Faber & Faber, 1976). The Letters of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1986). 198 Bibliography Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981). Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One (London: Pocket Books, 2005). Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000). Ralph Waldo Emerson,...

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