亮點課程  
美國小說與電影中的大街意象
Main Street in American Fiction and Film
開課教師
墨樵
Joseph Murphy
開課學年
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243110272013.doc
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課程介紹
Overview: 
    In the United States and beyond, the words “Main Street” conjure an image of the generic American small town: the grocer’s, the soda fountain, the doctor’s office, the bank, the insurance agency, the public park, and a choice of churches, flanked by blocks of clapboard or brick homes with tidy front lawns. Today this image is far from the reality of most Americans, who live in cities or suburbs, but Main Street remains a captivating symbol of the American dream.
    Main Street emerged as a subject in American literature and (later) film during the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries when small-town life was giving way to the expansion of cities, suburbs, and consumer culture. Writers and filmmakers who put Main Street on the cultural map were themselves often exiles from small towns, working in big cities. For them, the village became an object of both rebellion and nostalgia—a trap to escape, a paradise to regain. Together their works portray a procession of Main Streets strung across the American continent—some of them real, physical places, others imagined communities in characters’ minds. The citizens of Main Street are often eccentric, but their stories typify the historical pressures (political, economic, racial) and ultimate questions (of identity, death, belief) that disturb and galvanize American towns. The formal challenge of telling these stories has sparked innovation in fiction and film during the modern and postmodern periods. To tour these imagined Main Streets is therefore to enter a region that is both familiar and unsettling.
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