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Racial and ethnic difference emerge in part through the ideological mapping of humoral difference--as revealed in Paster's discussion of the contest for "blood" in Merchant of Venice and her extraordinary quotation from Sir Robert Boyle, who wished to investigate "the Difference between Humane Blood as 'tis found in sound Persons differingly constituted and circumstantiated, as men, women (when menstruous and when not), Children, Moors, Negro's etc" (67).
What Ella terms "the goodly ornature of well-apparelled speech" (50) is in fact the constitutive expression of an incrementally-constructed self, a self that, like Sidney's sonnets in Elia's description of them, is "full, material, and circumstantiated" (248).
I want to begin there, nevertheless, by positing some connections between the petits recits, the circumstantiated struggles, the perishing trajectories of love and thought--the materials and occasions of postmodern culture--and some American stories of our time.