Download New England Literary Culture: From Revolution through by Lawrence Buell PDF

By Lawrence Buell

This e-book is a learn of the improvement of recent England literature and literary associations from the yank innovative period to the overdue 19th century. Professor Buell explores the principles, progress and literary result of the professionalization of the writing vocation. He can pay specific recognition to the main writers - Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Stowe and Dickinson - yet surveys them with a few lesser-known authors, and explores the conventions, values and associations which affected all of them. a number of the major issues coated contain the unique positive factors of the Early nationwide and Antebellum sessions in New England writing; the significance of sure literary genres (poetry, oratory and spiritual narrative; etc.); the impression of Puritanism and its values; and the discovery of applicable conventions for portraying the hot England panorama and associations in literature.

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For instance, Trumbull, whose McFingal was their most enduring poem, was the literary mentor of the first Connecticut Romantics, James A. "31 Sigourney and Hillhouse, in turn, from their estates in Hartford and New Haven, patronized younger poets of greater ability, like James Gates Percival and John Greenleaf Whittier. For a time, then, it seemed that Connecticut might produce a third generation of poets to maintain the state's traditional preeminence. Hill- 34 FOUR OVERVIEWS house, Percival, Sigourney, and John G.

Another was the traditional New England respect for learning. Another was Harvard College itself. Understaffed, underequipped, and unsophisticated though it was in contrast to Gottingen, Harvard was the region's chief literary breeding ground, attended by more than one-third of all male New England writers of consequence between the Revolution and the Civil War. 46 A less tangible but even more pervasive background factor was the ethos of liberal, Arminian Congregationalism, whose growth, concurrent with the intensification of evangelical orthodoxy during the Second Awakening (which began in the 1790s), provoked the Unitarian schism of 1815.

In the same spirit is my treatment of the structure of the literary profession, in Chapters 2 and 3, and in the Appendix, which not only concede but THEORETICAL PREMISES 19 proclaim that New England's literary development was influenced by socioeconomic givens. Emerson could not have become a prophet of cosmic optimism unless the role had paid well enough; it paid well enough because enough Americans were attuned to a gospel of moderate progressivism; and they were attuned to that gospel in large part because of the nation's remarkable economic growth, of which the rise of a fullblown literary industry was a conspicuous example.

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