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Specters of ConquestIndigenous Absence in Transatlantic Literatures$
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Adam Lifshey

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780823232383

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823232383.001.0001

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/Subjunctive America: Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon and Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera

/Subjunctive America: Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon and Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera

Chapter:
(p.117) 5 /Subjunctive America: Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon and Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera
Source:
Specters of Conquest
Author(s):

Adam Lifshey

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823232383.003.0006

Mason is an astronomer, Dixon a surveyor, and their paired scientific skills allow them to score with mathematical precision an eerily straight border that begins south of Philadelphia and scrolls forth westward. Like all parallels, the Mason-Dixon Line is written in invisible ink, but that hardly undercuts its powers and presence. Thousands of trees disappear in its path, thousands of indigenous people, too. The mapping project, a triumph of the Age of Reason, is therefore imbued with an ongoing production of the spectral. Pynchon's Mason & Dixon, though written five centuries after Columbus's diary, shares with that text a profound preoccupation with an America created by absent presences.

Keywords:   Mason & Dixon, Thomas Pynchon, America, Gabriel García Márquez, Mason-Dixon line

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