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Emergent WorldsAlternative States in Nineteenth-Century American Culture$
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Edward Sugden

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479899692

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479899692.001.0001

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Interstitial States in the Oceanic Nineteenth Century

(p.1) Introduction
Emergent Worlds

Edward Sugden

NYU Press

This introduction provides a synoptic overview of the project as a whole concentrating on how it relates to the crisis of identity in the study of the nineteenth-century Americas that has evolved in the years since 2001. It begins with an extended analysis of the overlooked second and third clauses of Moby-Dick—“Some years ago—never mind how long precisely”—and shows how they contain a model for history, geography, politics, and form, as well as how these areas relate to issues of field definition. From this close reading, it defines the central structural terms of the book, namely, the “interstitial state,” the “oceanic geoculture,” the “dissonant time,” and the “archival form.”

Keywords:   interstitial, state, dissonant, time, oceanic, geoculture, archival, Moby-Dick

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