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Author Tanenbaum, Laura Anne
Title "Sundered by a memory": The sixties in historical novels and films of the postwar United States (Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Oliver Stone)
book jacket
Descript 304 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 64-05, Section: A, page: 1664
Adviser: Kristin Ross
Thesis (Ph.D.)--New York University, 2003
This dissertation considers the political and cultural impact of contemporary historical novels and films in the United States that reconfigure dominant American identities in response to the transformations of the nineteen sixties. Philip Roth's American Pastoral, Thomas Pynchon's Vineland, and Don DeLillo's Underworld, along with Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy of Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July , and Heaven and Earth all treat the transformations of the postwar period while recognizing that by questioning the boundaries of the social world and upsetting prior notions of American identity constructed by white men, these transformations have challenged the premises that have traditionally made such historical projects possible. This dissertation is the first in-depth study to read these works in relation to one another and to consider their place within the categories of the historical novel and the historical film. My close readings of these texts specifically address the challenges they face in depicting the period's radicalism, the problematic of nostalgia in relation to historical representation, and the particular role of sexuality in these accounts. To address these historiographic and epistemological challenges, this dissertation combines close readings of these novels and films with an analysis of their reception in both popular and academic settings and an evaluation of their relation to the social histories, journalistic accounts and popular narratives of the period and events being considered. Drawing on these methods, I demonstrate that in order to understand what is at stake in these texts, we must look to their attempts to create comprehensive portraits of the United States in the nineteen-sixties---that is, to write the history of the very era in which the authority that would ground such a project was so vividly brought into question
School code: 0146
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 64-05A
Subject Literature, American
American Studies
Alt Author New York University
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