Wednesday, December 9, 2009

American Exceptionalism in Literature:
A Genre Of Its Own?

What exactly is American exceptionalism?

American exceptionalism is the idea that American literature has a voice separate from that of other Anglophone and European literature, literature professor Ezra Tawil explained. Tawil, with help from his colleagues Andrew Delbanco, the director of Columbia’s American studies department, and Ross Posnock, a fellow English professor, delivered an engaging and intriguing discussion and explanation of the topic at hand. American literature is, as Tawil said, “not merely different, but unique.” It has a different tone, a different set of rules to follow, and a different goal.

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