1 Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter: A Romance (1850; reprint, New
York: Penguin, 1983), 241.
2 Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter, 252.
Introduction: Democracy’s Graveyard
1 Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855; reprint, New York: Penguin, 1985), 5,
2 William Cullen Bryant, ‘‘Thanatopsis,’’ in The Norton Anthology of Ameri-
can Literature, ed. Nina Baym et al., 3d ed. (New York: W. W. Norton,
1989), 1:890, 891.
3 Henry David Thoreau, ‘‘Resistance to Civil Government,’’ in The Norton
Anthology of American Literature, ed. Nina Baym et al., 3d ed. (New York:
W. W. Norton, 1989), 1:1712.
4 Jean Leca, ‘‘Questions of Citizenship,’’ in Dimensions of Radical Democracy:
Pluralism, Citizenship, Community, ed. Chantal Mouﬀe (London: Verso,
5 The notion of a public sphere comes from Jürgen Habermas, The Struc-
tural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bour-
geois Society, trans. Thomas Burger (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991).
In chapters 3 and 5, I explore and critique notions of the public sphere in
detail. On the importance of the aids quilt and Vietnam Veterans Memo-
rial to public memory, see Marita Sturken, ‘‘The Wall, the Screen, and
the Image: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial,’’ Representations 35 (summer
6 Philippe Ariès, The Hour of Our Death, trans. Helen Weaver (New York:
Knopf, 1981), 604, 369, 378. John Paul Russo expands on the conjunction
of Eros and Thanatos as a ‘‘psychomachia . . . in which attempts to distance
death or to hide it only intensify fascination,’’ a complex cultural response
that produces necrophilia and sadomasochism as topics of aesthetic rep-