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Otrante : arts et littératures fantastiques
Volume 36: "Washington Irving: le fantastique au temps des nations"
The ways in which Washington Irving's fiction was inflected by European gothic literature has been the subject of a number of previous studies. Critics have been especially interested in explaining how his adaptations of gothic themes to the early American context contributed to the formation of an American identity by its insistence on the frictions between local superstitions and imported ones. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow or Rip Van Winkle, emblematic of Irving's work, can easily be interpreted in this light, but at the risk, perhaps, of a simplification.