American Incunabula: 'Grotesque Genesis' and the Genealogical Genre

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Ian J. MacRae


Analysis of Os Sertões (Euclides da Cunha, Brazil, 1902), Absalom, Absalom! (William Faulkner, USA, 1936), Cien años de soledad (Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia, 1967), The Invention of the World (Jack Hodgins, Canada, 1977), and Texaco (Patrick Chamoiseau, Martinique, 1992) as a generic ensemble enables diverse treatments of race, class, gender and sexuality to resolve over time and across cultures into the meaningful patterns of American literary history. Each text incorporates the origin in writing and exposes it to difference—plurality, ambiguity, discontinuity. With this, the perpetual rewriting of the strong poem (the Book of Genesis) at the symbolic founding, the originary tradition transforms itself through incorporation of non-canonical elements, as the ‘same’ turns endlessly different: hybrid, ex-centric, grotesque, increasingly Creolized.

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How to Cite
MacRae, I. J. (2008). American Incunabula: ’Grotesque Genesis’ and the Genealogical Genre. AmeriQuests, 5(1).
Author Biography

Ian J. MacRae, Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Toronto

Ian J. MacRae is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. Under the direction of University Professor J. Edward Chamberlin, and with external examiner Stephen Slemon, his thesis defence has been scheduled for 27 January 2006. He has worked as a journalist, documentary filmmaker, and mechanical engineer throughout the Americas, from Tierra del Fuego to Rio de Janeiro, Mexico and Alaska.