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The Drama of the American Short Story, 1800-1865Michael J. Collins
The book shows how perspectives from theater studies, anthropology, and performance studies can enrich readings of the short-story form. Moving beyond arbitrary distinctions between performance and text, it suggests that this literature had a social life and was engaged with questions of circumatlantic and transnational culture. It suggests that the short story itself was never conceived as a nationalist literary form, but worked by mobilizing cosmopolitan connections and meanings. In so doing, the book resurrects a neglected history of American Federalism and its connections to British literary forms.