9780812250619-0812250613-Slantwise Moves: Games, Literature, and Social Invention in Nineteenth-Century America (Material Texts)

Slantwise Moves: Games, Literature, and Social Invention in Nineteenth-Century America (Material Texts)

ISBN-13: 9780812250619
ISBN-10: 0812250613
Author: Guerra, Douglas A.
Publication date: 2018
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Format: Hardcover 264 pages
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Book details

ISBN-13: 9780812250619
ISBN-10: 0812250613
Author: Guerra, Douglas A.
Publication date: 2018
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Format: Hardcover 264 pages

Summary

Acknowledged authors Guerra, Douglas A. wrote Slantwise Moves: Games, Literature, and Social Invention in Nineteenth-Century America (Material Texts) comprising 264 pages back in 2018. Textbook and eTextbook are published under ISBN 0812250613 and 9780812250619. Since then Slantwise Moves: Games, Literature, and Social Invention in Nineteenth-Century America (Material Texts) textbook was available to sell back to BooksRun online for the top buyback price or rent at the marketplace.

Description

In 1860, Milton Bradley invented The Checkered Game of Life. Having journeyed from Springfield, Massachusetts, to New York City to determine interest in this combination of bright red ink, brass dials, and character-driven decision-making, Bradley exhausted his entire supply of merchandise just two days after his arrival in the city; within a few months, he had sold forty thousand copies. That same year, Walt Whitman left Brooklyn to oversee the printing of the third edition of his Leaves of Grass in Massachusetts. In Slantwise Moves, Douglas A. Guerra sees more than mere coincidence in the contemporary popularity of these superficially different cultural productions. Instead, he argues, both the book and the game were materially resonant sites of social experimentation—places where modes of collectivity and selfhood could be enacted and performed.

Then as now, Guerra observes, "game" was a malleable category, mediating play in various and inventive ways: through the material forms of pasteboard, paper, and india rubber; via settings like the parlor, lawn, or public hall; and by mutually agreed-upon measurements of success, ranging from point accumulation to the creation of humorous narratives. Recovering the lives of important game designers, anthologists, and codifiers—including Anne Abbot, William Simonds, Michael Phelan, and the aforementioned Bradley—Guerra brings his study of commercially produced games into dialogue with a reconsideration of iconic literary works. Through contrapuntal close readings of texts and gameplay, he finds multiple possibilities for self-fashioning reflected in Bradley's Life and Whitman's "Song of Myself," as well as utopian social spaces on billiard tables and the pages of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance alike.

Highlighting meaningful overlap in the production and reception of books and games, Slantwise Moves identifies what the two have in common as material texts and as critical models of the mundane pleasures and intimacies that defined agency and social belonging in nineteenth-century America.

Awarded the 2019 Popular Culture Association's Ray and Pat Browne Award for Best Reference/Primary Source Work in Popular Culture

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