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The Traumatic ColonelThe Founding Fathers, Slavery, and the Phantasmatic Aaron Burr$
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Michael J. Drexler and Ed White

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479871674

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479871674.001.0001

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Hors Monde, or the Fantasy Structure of Republicanism

Hors Monde, or the Fantasy Structure of Republicanism

(p.42) 2 Hors Monde, or the Fantasy Structure of Republicanism
The Traumatic Colonel

Michael J. Drexler

Ed White

NYU Press

This chapter turns to Charles Brockden Brown's Ormond; or, The Secret Witness, arguing that it predicts the dynamic operation of the Founders system. The subtitle of Brown's novel—or, The Secret Witness—seems the perfect evocation of the Foucauldian panoptical paradigm, an allusion to a series of monitory institutions and discourses. All those representations of witness reference a plethora of well-known social anxieties of the period, from fears of immigrant radicalism to the changing norms of economic exchange, as well as the reconstruction of boundaries between public and private spheres. The driving force behind this metaphorical witness is the dominant ideology of the period: the republicanism described by the historians of the past generation. The chapter highlights the Constantia-Ormond relationship and how these characters reflect the novel's attempts to think of a way beyond republicanism, and towards the development of political fantasy.

Keywords:   Charles Brockden Brown, Ormond, republicanism, Foucauldian panoptical paradigm, immigrant radicalism, economic exchange, political fantasy

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