Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Sollors writes a provocative assessment of ethnic literature within American culture. He substantiates the premise that ethnic literature is American literature and is historically and ideologically grounded in the established American immigrant pattern. Sollors develops a theoretical base for understanding immigrant/ethnic literature from its Puritan beginnings to the multiethnic reflection of American contemporary society. Rather than being outside the American tradition, immigrant writings are "not only expressions of mediation between cultures but also [act] as handbooks of socialization into the codes of Americanness." He says that immigrant writers express their dualistic role as inheriting characteristics from their ancestors (descent) and adopting cultural characteristics of the new world (consent). His examination of American literary tradition reveals how American and ethnic literature embody a common consent/descent based heritage through what Sollors explains as typologies, the use of Christie symbols to explain anticipation and fulfillment and ethnogenesis, new creations developed out of collective and individual effort.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1988