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By Sharon Cameron

Philosophers have lengthy debated the topics of individual and personhood. Sharon Cameron ushers this debate into the literary realm by way of contemplating impersonality within the works of significant American writers and figures of foreign modernism—writers for whom own id is inconsequential or even imaginary. In essays on William Empson, Jonathan Edwards, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, T. S. Eliot, and Simone Weil, Cameron examines the impulse to hole out the center of human strong point, to build a voice that's no one’s voice, to style a personality with out significant attributes, a being that's nearly anonymous.

“To consent to being anonymous,” Weil wrote, “is to undergo witness to the reality. yet how is that this appropriate with social lifestyles and its labels?” all through those essays Cameron examines the friction, even violence, set in movement from such incompatibility—from a “truth” that has no social beginning. Impersonality investigates the uncompromising nature of writing that suspends, eclipses, or even destroys the individual as a social, political, or person entity, of writing that engages with own identification in the meanwhile while its traditional markers vanish or dissolve.

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