Arriving at Quiet
This introduction establishes how a quieter conception of testimony emerges from nineteenth-century American literature, how it reorients the terms through which scholars assess the significance of canonical American writing, and how it differs from post-Holocaust theories of testimony (especially those of Shoshana Felman, Cathy Caruth, and Giorgio Agamben). Testimony is defined as text that changes how its addressee perceives the world. A literary, as opposed to a historical or informational, approach to testimony is outlined with particular reference to anti-slavery testimony and testimonial accounts of volunteers in the Civil War.
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