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This title in other editions

Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville

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Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this landmark work, the seven great writers of the American Renaissance--Emerson, Thoreau, Writman, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and Dickinson--are examined together in their cultural contexts. David Reynolds reveals how these authors broadly assimilated the themes and images of popular culture. Their classic works--among them Moby Dick, The Scarlet Letter, Leaves of Grass, Walden, and the tales of Poe--are given strikingly original reading when viewed against the rich, often startling background of long neglected popular writings of the time.

Reynolds also explores a whole lost world of sensational literature, including grisly novels, openly sold on the street, that combined intense violence with explicit eroticism. He demonstrates as well how common concerns with issues of religion, slavery, and workers' (as well as women's) rights resonate in the major writings.

About the Author

David S. Reynolds is Professor of English at the Graduate School and Baruch College, City University of New York.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction
The Open Text:
American Writers and Their Environment

Part One: God's Bow, Man's Arrows:
Religion, Reform, and American Literature
1. The New Religious Style
2. The Reform Impulse and the Paradox of Immoral Didacticism
3. The Transcendentalists, Whitman, and Popular Reform
4. Hawthorne and the Reform Impulse
5. Melville's Whited Sepulchres

Part Two: Public Poison:
Sensationalism and Sexuality
6. The Sensational Press and the Rise of Subversive Literature
7. The Erotic Imagination
8. Poe and Popular Irrationalism
9. Hawthorne's Cultural Demons
10. Melville's Ruthless Democracy
11. Whitman's Transfigured Sensationalism

Part Three: Other Amazons:
Women's Rights, Women's Wrongs, and the Literary Imagination
12. Types of American Womanhood
13. Hawthorne's Heroines
14. The American Women's Renaissance and Emily Dickinson

Part Four: The Grotesque Posture:
Popular Humor and the American Subversive Style
15. The Carnivalization of American Language
16. Transcendental Wild Oats
17. Whitman's Poetic Humor
18. Stylized Laughter in Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville

Epilogue

Reconstructive Criticism: Literary Theory and Literary History

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674065659
Subtitle:
The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville
Author:
Reynolds, David S.
Author:
Reynolds, David S.
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
American literature
Subject:
Semiotics & Theory
Subject:
Literature and society
Subject:
Women in literature
Subject:
Social problems in literature
Subject:
Melville, Herman
Subject:
Popular literature
Subject:
Sensationalism in literature.
Subject:
Social norms in literature.
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Bibliography: p. 569-604.
Series Volume:
9. Sezione inglese
Publication Date:
October 1989
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
35 halftones
Pages:
640
Dimensions:
9.22x6.16x1.71 in. 2.05 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Literary History » United States » 18th and 19th Century
History and Social Science » Literary History » United States » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

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