Getting Around "Blood is Blood": Two Versions of American Identity
University of California, Irvine
Walter Benn Michaels opens his recent book, Our America: Nativism, Modernism, and Pluralism, with an analysis of the incest theme in William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, cueing the reader right away that the collective "our" of the title is purchased with some heavy irony. Michaels' provocative opening gambit is that the Reverend Shegog's Eucharist sermon, in Faulkner's last chapter, can be read as "repeating and interlacing the twinned fantasies" (OA, 1) of the novel. The first such fantasy is social and corresponds to the word nativism in Michaels' subtitle: the Compsons, in different ways, wish they could sustain their family endogamously, that is, without reliance on the legal conventions of kinship that must inevitably introduce outsiders to the clan. According to Michaels, the statements "I have committed incest I said" (Faulkner, 95) and "because like I say blood is blood and you can't get around it" (297) are exemplary, indeed are the apotheoses, of nativist logic as manifested by Quentin and Jason, respectively.
The second fantasy, which corresponds to the word modernism in the subtitle and which always occurs in some relation to the first, is linguistic: it involves the wish that words can become things by functioning "onomotopoetically" outside the in some sense arbitrary systems of syntax and substitution which govern the way meaning is normally engendered. The pertinent textual analogs here are Quentin's qualifying "I said" in "I have committed incest I said" Benjy's habit of substituting words about his sister for his actual, physical sister. Thus can Shegog be said said to "twin" the fantasies in question when, having interpellating the congregation as "breddren and sistuhn," he insists in his sermon that the word of God becomes Christ's flesh.
For practitioners of what Michaels goes on to call nativist modernism--a list on which he includes Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Cather, and Langston Hughes, among other lesser known 1920's-era Americans--the conventions of normative reproduction, like the conventions governing meaning and reference, are experienced as impinging upon or posing a threat to nationhood. And it is this latter concept whose complicity with a pervasive rhetoric of familiality, and therefore of pure bloodlines, Michaels wishes to expose. Once family rhetoric "racializes" (13) the American, there ensues a logic we might be tempted, following Freud, to call totemic; the burden of Michaels' argument, in other words, is to show that American citizens resemble the Compsons insofar as they "believe themselves to be of one blood" (Sir James Frazer, qtd by Freud, 103). In short, much of Michaels' articulation of nativism and modernism assumes a fateful homology between Dalton Ames courtship of Caddy and a more diffuse but more ubiquitous "outsider" presence whose best known examples are Jay Gatsby and Robert Cohn; the stakes of such a homology are considerable, for it teaches us that, beginning around the time of the Immigration Act of 1924, it became possible for an increasingly xenophobic nation to conflate immigration and miscegenation, and therefore eventually to produce discourses of cultural diversity which remain in thrall to what is irreducibly a "racial," or, worse, a "racist" logic.
Not surprisingly, Michaels' catch-all matrix is constructed in such a way that a considerable variety of narratives from the period in question get to count as nativist. So that, lest we accuse him of placing too much stock in what may appear "an extreme and perverse example" like the Compsons, he can assure us of the existence of alternative but essentially equivalent social structures: for example, homosexual families, because they do not "breed," and Native American families, because they die off, both qualify as nativist and mark those texts in which they appear as "patriotic" in the most disturbing of ways. The nativist-modernist reductio ad absurdum, which is a little difficult to see at first, is not so much that "we" are better off dead than ill-bred, but that the mixing of bloodlines already constitutes "our" death. Hence the tragic/elegiac pathos of so much American modernism.
The point for our purposes, I guess, is that Faulkner and the other representative modernists can be thought of as precipitating a kind of revolution in identitarianism with whose legacy of so-called pluralism, the third of the "bad" -isms in Michaels' little shell game, we still grapple today. According to Michaels, Jason's "blood is blood" credo "expresses the priority of identity over any other category of assessment and makes clear the position of the family as the bearer of what I will call identitarian claims" (6). The identitarian claims we make today, most of which swear off racial essentialisms and travel proudly under the banner of "cultural difference," still unwittingly pay deference to Jason Compson and make us all nativist-modernist identitarians. The problem with our own contemporary preoccupations with identity is that, without the blood logic of racial essentialism, they are "incoherent." Why, Michaels wants to know, should in-group members be allowed to "remember" what putative outsiders can hope only to "study"; and how it is that "learning to sing and dance like blacks counts as stealing black culture" (135)? Against anti-essentialist social constructionist theorists like Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Michaels argues that "there can be no anti-essentialist account of race," (134) and that therefore, unless we are prepared to countenance "our" racism, we should abandon all talk of "cultural" identity and difference.
Now I realize this is a regrettably cursory treatment of a carefully nuanced thesis, and I'm confident that many readers of all or part of Our America, myself included, could amass various kinds of evidence to show how woefully misinformed or blockheadedly reductive Michaels is being here. But I have to confess that the nativist-modernist nexus he exposes is one I've had a hard time thinking through or getting around. Rather than trying to refute the argument, I thought I'd use the short time allotted here to sketch a re-reading of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, a work many associate with a moment of high modernist hegemony, against this fresh backdrop of Michaels' thesis. Since Ellison falls outside Michaels' explicit historical purview, I can't fairly hope to use him prove Michaels wrong; and yet Invisible Man strikes me as an apt occasion to test the limits and ramifications of bold assertions like "Maybe we should describe modernism as something like the research-and-development division of identitarianism" (Modernism/Modernity 3.3, 1996), and "just as I don't think you can understand literary modernism without understanding its participation in the production of identitarianism, I don't think you can understand modern identitarianism without understanding literary modernism" (ibid). What happened in the '20's is that identity became a project, a thing someone could desire, live up to, or betray. In order for this to happen, it had to become detachable from actual behavior; and I take Invisible Man as a kind of extended meditation on the possibility or even the necessity of such nativist-modernist "projects." In what follows, I'll limit my comments to Ellison's treatment of two of Michaels' three bad -isms--the nativism implicit in Invisible Man's treatment of incest and the modernism implicit in its treatment of the ontology of the sign--stressing how Ellison reinscribes or signifies upon them in ways that must unsettle "our" definition of America; in short, where Michaels' claims that texts can "parody but also reproduce" (26) nativist-modernism, I want to insist upon the crucial differences Ellison's parodies and caricatures produce even as they re-produce.
Since we know that Ellison read and admired Faulkner, Hemingway, and many of the other modernists on which Michaels bases his study, it is perhaps not surprising that Invisible Man, first published in 1947, reads at times uncannily like a reply to Our America. If nothing else we can note that it includes an ironic and sometimes a burlesque treatment of the twinned fantasies in question. And it seems clear enough that the trope of invisibility over which so much scholarly ink has been spilled is a sustained effort to subject identitarianism, in dramatic and original ways, to critical scrutiny. One could go further to make a case that Ellison, like Michaels, wishes to pronounce upon various kinds of chauvinistic human behaviors for which only tautological justifications are available: consider Brother Wrestrum's statement that "In the brotherhood we are all brothers" (392). Indeed, in the last chapter, in what seems almost a kind of wink to Michaels, the narrator more or less owns his own incoherence by describing his project or quest as a "rave" (581) which stands in need of excuses like "What else could I have done" (572) and "What else could I do" (581).
I have at least hinted that, for Michaels, the nativist modernist need not be conscious of the racial fantasy of nationhood. Quentin is here again exemplary, proving as he does that "you don't have to be attracted to your sister" (6) to want to participate in the nativism whose logical imperative is incest. Such an assertion strategically allows Michaels to generalize from thematic examples to pragmatic matters "outside" the text, while leaving to one side the cognitive and rhetorical questions of agency and intention which we can think of as framing a literary speech act. Meanwhile, Ellison remains profoundly interested in these matters; for him, a novel is a symbolic action which forms "an argument about the nature of reality." The Freudian axis of conscious and unconscious cognition is, indeed, crucial to the incest theme as troped by Ellison in chapter 2 of the novel--familiar to many of us, I hope, as the Trueblood episode. To see this, we need only recall how Mr. Norton's failure to remain conscious after being "spoken for" by a black sharecropper named Jim Trueblood, prevents him from hearing some unquieting about race in America during the "Golden Day" episode in chapter 3. In short, Ellison teaches that what is needed for full consciousness, or what comes as its reward, is a decisive degree of control over one's story: the autonomy of telling which will turn out, as well, to be the narrative payoff of the novel as a whole.
The Trueblood episode that occupies chapter 2 of Invisible Man provides us with a convenient confluence of Ellison's complicated views on agency, narrative, and nativism. At this point in the novel, the nameless narrator (who I'll call IM) is a model student at a Southern black college, and when the college president, longsuffering Dr. Bledsoe, asks him to chauffeur a wealthy Northern white trustee for the afternoon of the annual, commemorative "Founder's Day" (37), it is clear that we are being urged to think of the "founding fathers" and of "our" constitution. With time on his hands, Mr. Norton, the trustee, asks IM to show him the countryside surrounding the campus, at which point the car, as if of its own accord, "bound[s] over the road" (38) while IM "half-consciously" (46) follows a white centerline we cannot fail to recognize as a scenic correlative of the Freudian bar of repression. Of course, Norton isn't "supposed" to be conscious the squalid sharecropper shacks and ox-drawn carts dotting the horizon, and when IM points them out, forgetting for a moment his duty as censor, a sudden change in the landscape comes fortuitously to the rescue: Norton claims he "can't see them for the trees" (41), and the country drive is kept, for the moment, in check. But Norton's compulsion to repeat history proves to be very strong indeed, and "as though compelled by some pressing urgency I could not understand" (50), he ends up acquainting himself with a black sharecropper named Jim Trueblood who has recently impregnated both his wife and daughter.
What follows is nothing if not a riff on nativism. Trueblood's name is already an ironic commentary on the incest fantasy, and the juxtaposition of and dialogue between such symbols of white wealth and black poverty, relatively rare in American literature, is a uniquely Ellisonian touch of the burlesque: in one scene he is thus able to signify upon (among other things) 1) the irrepressible, if marginalized, presence of blacks in the American canon, something Toni Morrison will later underscore; 2) the minstrelization of black oral culture by figures such as Joel Chandler Harris and Erskine Caldwell; and 3) Freudianism, which it should by now be obvious is doing more here than lend a comic excess of meaning to Mr. Norton's cigars, and turn trees into totem poles.
Drawing, then, on sources as diverse as the Bible, Freud, folklore, and Greek tragedy, the scene takes on the dramatic structure of a revealed secret, Aristotelian anagnorisis with an ironic twist. And IM's apparent navet as a tour-guide is a mere foreshadow: Ellison is setting up a much more grandiose return of the repressed, a grotesque spectacle of pre-literate, "pre-civilized" culture that threatens to puncture some of "our" most precious illusions. What is threatening to whites like Norton is, of course, not just the unwelcome knowledge of their complicity in the economic inequalities (sharecropping) that give American ideals an air of bad faith, but, worse, the secret wishes they harbor to be 'uncivilized', freely libidinal creatures themselves. When Norton produces, from the back seat, a "tinted miniature" of his daughter, who died while travelling with him through Europe, he tells IM that it is her "purity" which sanctifies the college and inspires her father's philanthropy. Here the dialogue is a bit over the top, almost as if Ellison has not yet found his satirical footing: "'She was a being more rare, more beautiful, purer, more perfect and more delicate than the wildest dream of a poet. I could never believe her to be my own flesh and blood. Her beauty was a well-spring of purest water-of-life ... I found it difficult to believe her my own'" (42). But the rhetoric is left unsubtle precisely so that we do not miss the nativist stakes of the scene that will follow. The reason that Norton "cannot believe" his daughter is his own, Ellison intimates, is that he has had sexual relations with her: presumably on the trip to Europe whose pedagogical mission was to "civilize" her. Norton compensates for her death, which he interprets as punishment for his sin, by placing her on an other-worldly pedestal he seems to associate with literary sublimation ("wildest dream of a poet"). His philanthropy can then be read as an act of self-imposed penance, a way of sublimating or working through his own shame: through a series of twists Michaels would savor, black education and literature tout court both become allegories of nativist white incest.
Such a reading is both corroborated and destabilized by the contrastive images of barrenness and fecundity Ellison uses to describe the campus. Given that T.S. Eliot provides one of the novel's epigraphs, we cannot miss the Ellisonian riff of having the narrator recall his school as a "flower-studded wasteland" (37); the feminine sense of flowers couples, as it were, with the masculine pun on "studded" to give the college a metaphorical valence of reproductive health, promise for the future. In contrast, when Norton twice refers to the "barren" ground on which he helped "build" the school, the flower-imagery is absent, so that it seems to be a question of a magical virility that had single-handedly realized this patriotic vision of equal educational opportunities for blacks. More importantly, this potency seems to be located irreplacably in a tragic past: if the campus is a wasteland, Norton is its castrated Fisher King. What is emphasized about Norton's future is its uncertainty; his "fate" (44), he says repeatedly, rests with the narrator.
Of course, the tragic rhetoric of waste and declension is all just a foil for the tragicomic depiction of Trueblood's potency. Where Norton is the patriarch of what Michaels would call a "vanishing" or "extinguished" (thus, a modernist) family, Trueblood, despite living outside the social convention of exogamy, manages to sustain what we could call a "blues", if not a post-modernist, family. Rather than being castrated for his sin, which would be a tragic, indeed a logical, punishment, Trueblood is the recipient of an ax-blow from his wife Kate, who discovers him atop their daughter Ñ "'It's my blood, my face is bleedin''" (65). The blow leads to an "open" scar on his cheek, but apparently leaves his masculinity intact. Later, after returning from exile and learning of the 'twin' pregnancies, he hears that Kate has sent for a midwife, presumably to perform "twinned" abortions on herself and her daughter. Construing this as an affront to his manhood, he threatens to kill anyone who "fools with [his] womenfolks" (67), thus owning up to his sin of abomination and taking patriarchal responsibility for his family (a "man don't leave his family" 66). And Trueblood's occupation Ñ "He was some farmer" (68) Ñ comments ironically on this familial difference: this self-professed family-man 'spills his seed' where it doesn't belong, and farms it anyway.
Later on, back at the college, IM sees an open copy of Freud's Totem and Taboo in Norton's room, and we come closer to fully grasping the meta-critical, self-reflexive dimensions of Ellison's "argument about the nature of American reality." It now becomes clear how a subtitle like "Some Points of Agreement Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics" has helped Ellison to script a scene in which an "uncivilized savage" and an ostensibly "civilized neurotic" exchange fantasies which are in various ways "twinned." By locating the incest fantasy along a racial axis, Ellison manages to suggest that black and white, like conscious and unconscious and like "savage" and "neurotic," are "twinned" concepts which must be brought and thought together, but the point all along has been to bring nativism into the writerly consciousness; in letting the Truebloods continue endogamously, Ellison reproduces the nativist symptom indeed, but only, I would contend, in order to effect a homeopathic cure for a national-literary neurosis Walter Michaels may not have been the first to diagnose.
Whatever else we might want to conclude about Ellison's parodic version of nativism, we do well to locate in relation to its putative twin, that is, the modernist fantasy of the ontology of the sign. First of all, what Trueblood has that Norton does not have is, of course, a social space and a ritual function for his story, and it is in this sense that he can be seen as a figure both for the mature narrator of the fictional autobiography and for Ellison himself. As I have suggested, Ellison is riffing/commenting not only on the literary topos of incest, but also on its linguistic mediation, the telling of it. And given Ellison's persistent and eloquent critical defense of Burkean positions on storytelling as ritual, symbolic action, both in Shadow and Act and Going to the Territory, we might at least entertain the hypothesis that pragmatically attractive conflations of art and politics, which offer the modernist an escape clause from charges of quietism, are easily recuperated for Michaels' thesis about the desire to make the words be the things. Consider the following passage from Ellison's 1981 preface:
And while fiction is but a form of symbolic action, a mere game of "as if", therein lies its true function and its potential for effecting change. For at its most serious, just as is true of politics at its best, it is a thrust toward a human ideal. And it approaches that ideal by a subtle process of negating the world of things as given in favor of a complex of manmade positives. (xx)
Here Ellison, from the somewhat odd position of a man trying to 'reclaim' his own story from the three decades of interpretation to which he has seen it give rise, carefully foregrounds the role he envisions for fiction. He sees a novel not as an inert semantic code awaiting the discovery of its meaning, but as a "manmade positive" that can be substituted for the negated "world of things." Oversimplifying a bit, we can say that Ellison's "interest in the ontology of the sign" (2) comes through in his fascination with the Burkean idea that words, qua symbolic actions, can function "ritualistically" outside rigid semantic systems. Here one can think of the ritual dimensions of Trueblood's confession, where we find the sharecropper's "voice taking on a deep, incantatory quality, as though he had told the story many, many times" (54).
If this point seems a bit strained, we can find an even more explicit example of this linguistic fantasy in chapter three of the novel. Reverend Homer A. Barbee is a Chicago preacher and friend to Dr. Bledsoe who visits IM's campus just after the Trueblood episode. Ellison calls attention to the fact that the church service at which Barbee will preach is a "formal ritual" (111), and it begins with gospel church music. IM describes the "thin brown girl"'s choir solo as "controlled and sublimated anguish" and emphasizes that he "could not understand the words, but only the mood, sorrowful, vague, and ethereal" (117); later, when Barbee preaches, his sermon about slavery and oppression devolves at one point into a series of three non-signifying "Mmmmmmmm"'s (128). These Mmmmmmmm's are especially interesting in light of the fact that Michaels bases his crucial linkage of linguistic modernism and cultural nativism on two literary examples of the very same sound, claiming that Mmmmmmm demonstrates how "Once the sign becomes a thing it no longer functions as a sign" (5); seldom has one letter of the alphabet been asked to do so much literary critical work. Moreover, Michaels finds these momentous murmurs in two literary examples where the ritual behavior associated with transubstantiation coincides with "the musical quality" (4) of sermons. In a kind of modernist reinscription of Reverend Dimmesdale's sermon in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Faulkner has Reverend Shegog preach an Easter Eucharist sermon which, according to Michaels,
elicits from his audience a series of prolonged 'Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm''s  that match the babbling of Dimmesdale's congregation. The sermon's topic, the Eucharistic identity of sign and referent, is thus doubled by its formal repudiation of those conventions that, acknowledging the gap between sign and referent, are ordinarily understood to make meaning possible. If the word in Hawthorne must be etherealized in order to let the "spiritual" meaning come through, the word in Faulkner must be eliminated in order to let the thing itself appear. (OA 5)
The relevance of such formal repudiations for my reading of Invisible Man is perhaps best illustrated by Ellison's well-remarked penchant for wordplay in naming his characters. But I'd like to suggest that this topos of naming is another site where Ellison, again, both recapitulates and radically comlicates Michaels' thesis about the linkage between nativism and modernist ontology. If we consider that naming is one of the important functions filled by family life, we may again want to credit Ellison with having deviated sharply from nativist modernism; whereas the Compsons' black maid, Dilsey, claims that "Folks don't have no luck changing names" (qtd by Michaels, OA 3), IM remains nameless and, apparently, parentless; in fact, one of a scarce few "family" heirlooms is his grandfather's cryptic remark that "You start out Saul, but you end up Paul" (381). Is Ellison, here again, just another participant in this fantasy? What he seems to be emphasizing is the way names are not so much natural or Cratylistic, but presumptive and transient. IM calls himself "a little black man with an assumed name" (559), and names are subsequently shown to be things one tries on, à la Rinehart, like so many hats or pairs of sunglasses. For instance, while musing about the exigencies of black political leadership at Brotherhood headquarters, IM looks up at a portrait of Frederick Douglass and wonders, "What had his true name been? Whatever it was, it was as Douglass that he became himself, defined himself" (381). What is meant to seem ironic here is the fact that Douglass rose from slavery to greatness under a "false" monicker, a name imposed from outside by the exigencies of chattel slavery. Of course, such stories are only "ironic" if one makes what Michaels would call a logically fatal separation of being and doing; for what could a "true" monicker be, other than a modernist fantasy? Still, we should note that several chapters later a comparatively more undeceived narrator will undercut this kind of thinking, anticipating Michaels' own "fantasy" of self-coherence with the statement "I was my experiences and they were me" (508).
This fateful ontology of naming reemerges with characteristic Ellisonian playfulness in the epilogue when, having gone "underground" by jumping into a manhole, IM finally reaches the mature consciousness and self-identity from which he will be able to take control of the narrative. If we divide the word "man-hole" into its contituent parts (recalling that Ellison employs such a bipartite naming formula throughout the novel), we can note how, since "man" is one of IM's "names," it is almost as if the linguistic dimension of the object were exerting a "natural" pull on the "man": putting the man in "his" hole, Ellison is then seen as following a logic that belongs to language itself. Meanwhile, the thing in question is not really an object, since a "hole," like Benjy's "Caddy," names not a presence but an absence. In short, Ellison's recapitulation of the modernist fantasy consists of making the man become the thing--or, better, the no-thing, the invisibility, the pure ontological transience of a hole which is what it is only by having people pass through it--by way of the hoaxy Cratylistic motif of first having the man become the word: Invisible Man. And once down "his" hole, the narrator merely follows out the suggestion of an already implicit wordgame: "I was whole" (571). And IM gets to be "whole" (with a w) only after lighting his way in the dark underground by burning the papers in his briefcase, papers which have heretofore constituted his identity. Recall that it was on one of these papers that Brother Jack had written IM's provisional "Brotherhood name," and this name remains a secret to the end. But since we are told that "the end was in the beginning" (571), and since fictional characters, like real human beings, "start out with" a name, it seems plausible that language has, all along, been the agency directing characters to their "fates." We could pursue this interesting mock-Cratylistic motif along the lines suggested by wordplays like Bled-so, Rind-hart, Tod (Germ.: dead) Clifton, True-blood, North-town, etc. Insofar as the characters "live up to" the allegorical or semantic valencies of their names (e.g. Tod ends up dead, Trueblood ends up a full-fledged nativist), Michaels' points about the ontology of the sign may be made to fit this special case--though again, not without a uniquely Ellisonian remainder, a kind of comic excess of meaning whose irreducible difference I would concede only most reluctantly to the nativist-modernist dialectic.
Questions for discussion:
1. Ellison seems to be proferring a post-modernist or indeed a post-structuralist conception of identity, one we might think of as being essentially in accord with Deleuze's statement, in Difference and Repetition, that "modern thought is born of the failure of representation, of the loss of identities" (xix). Here Deleuze identifies as "modern" something we are perhaps now more inclined to gather under the rubric of postmodernity; and yet Michaels project too, while it is confined to one national literature, sets out from certain notions of modern-ism/ity. What sets Michaels at a critical remove from identitarianism of both the modern and the postmodern varieties is his dialectical penchant for reducing one to the other, his implicit claim to have arrived at a kind of safe haven of higher synthesis from which one can call oneself, perhaps, post-postmodern or anti-antiessentialist. But is such a (rhetorical) move legitimate? In other words, what takes priority, Michaels' rhetorical (and arguably opportunistic) goals or his logical precepts? Do we see him as more like Socrates, a kind of gadfly of the academic marketplace, or more like a Sophist pursuing his own interests and trying to bolster his own academic "identity".
2. Would it be fair for him to try to recuperate Ellison for his thesis using the reductive logic that "texts can parody but also reproduce" (26) nativist attitudes? Or does a trope like irony radically destabilize Michaels' method of (more or less thematic) analysis?
3. Would Michaels argue that Ellisonian models of American culture make the fatal race/culture split he would abandon as race-sponsored, and that there really is nothing "ironic" about America unless we concede an underlying racial prescriptivism? But what does Michaels offer in place of pluralism? To rephrase Nietzsche, might we not conclude that man would rather have non- or anti-identity than not "identify" at all? Do we "prefer" an incoherent or ironic identity (Ellison) to no identity at all (Michaels)? And do we have a choice--that is, is it possible to abandon identitarianism? Is fallacious ontologic an inherent feature of language, and, moreover, is the (incoherent) desire to reveal "true" identities the very engine of literature? Why not begin locate the beginnings of this insidious cultural logic Mark Twain's Pudd'n'head Wilson and James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans? For that matter, why not make Oedipus Rex, or Hamlet, or for that matter, horoscopes, paradigmatic for the "project" of identity?
Deleuze, Gilles, Difference and Repetition. Trans. Paul Patton. New York: Columbia UP, 1994.
Ellison, Ralph. Going to the Territory. New York: Random House, 1986.
-. Invisible Man. New York: Vintage, 1994.
-. Shadow and Act. New York: Signet, 1966.
Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury. New York: Vintage, 1956.
Freud, Sigmund. Totem and Taboo. Trans. James Strachey. New York: Norton, 1952.
Michaels, Walter Benn. Our America: Nativism, Modernism, and Pluralism. Durham, NC: Duke UP: 1995.
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