American literature: a vanishing subject?

  title={American literature: a vanishing subject?},
  author={Andrew Delbanco},
Dædalus Spring 2006 Some 1⁄2fty years after the political establishment of the United States, the concept of an American literature barely existed–an absence acknowledged with satisfaction in Sydney Smith’s famous question posed in 1820 in the Edinburgh Review: “Who in the four corners of the globe reads an American book?” The implied answer was no one. Another twenty years would pass before this question was seriously reopened, along with the more fundamental question that lay behind it… 
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