Ghost-Watching American Modernity: Haunting, Landscape, and the Hemispheric Imagination, by María del Pilar Blanco (Review)
Material and immaterial, dead and alive, tangible and intangible: the ghost is an aporia that does not belong in the past or the present. Moreover, a single specter always conjures more of the like, and we are suddenly surrounded, haunted on every front. The paradoxical exercise of conjuring and exorcising apparitions has brought them to inhabit distinctive regions in literary scholarship. We think of ghosts, for instance, as characters belonging to specific genres and treat them as figurations of moral or psychological anxieties. In other words, specific theoretical tools are used to grapple with the specter’s disruption. María del Pilar Blanco’s Ghost-Watching American Modernity: Haunting, Landscape, and the Hemispheric Imagination tests these tools and invites the reader to question some of these assumptions. Focusing on the depiction of haunted spaces in the works of José Martí, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Felisberto Hernández, Henry James, and W. E. B. Du Bois, Blanco urges us to think of haunting outside the safe boundaries of genre theory, psychoanalytical studies, and Derridean hauntology.
Comparative Literature Studies
DOI of Published Version
Penn State University Press
Alvarez, Jose J., "Ghost-Watching American Modernity: Haunting, Landscape, and the Hemispheric Imagination, by María del Pilar Blanco (Review)" (2015). School of American and Global Studies Faculty Publications with a Focus on Modern Languages and Global Studies. 5.