A History of American Literature, Second Edition

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Some of the authors, in particular Mizruchi, compensate by conveying their enthusiasm for particular works, thereby reintroducing a hierarchy. This is surely a tautology. Furthermore, in each of the four essays, the time span varies for Brodhead and Mizruchi the period under study begins in ; for Bentley it begins in ; for Michaels it begins in It may, in fact, be for no reason at all.

In any case, the reader is never informed, as if to begin in , , or were a matter of indifference. Still, although the title frames the volume as history, it cannot, with the possible exception of the last essay, be dipped into the way reference books usually can. The title will attract both students and teachers and the jargon-free prose makes it available to the general reader. Thanks are due to Cambridge for producing an index and a useful chronology and for the almost faultless editing although it is now certain that no copy editors in the United States speak French!

The only quibble might be that it would have been helpful to have subheadings as well as chapter titles in contents for easy reference. Or, to put it differently, besides bringing together the work of four experts on this particular period, does the volume amount to a history?

The answer is probably no.

There is an abundance of visual information available to the user of the digital archive, affording comparison between publication styles and historical trends often heavily influenced by the backgrounds of the editors. For example, consider the editors of the late 19 th -century multi-volume Library. Their message is sent via content and visual display. The editors of Eight American Writers were English professors influenced by both historical and New Critical approaches to literature.

Their audience was the college student in an English class. Building upon brilliant New Critical scholars who rebelled against the old historical emphases on biographical and historical backgrounds and building upon works like F. But they may not be to their students. Comparing the tables of contents of Library and Eight American Writers on CTT offers a quick and efficient way to open discussions related to other anthologies about the forces that shape the nature of anthologies and by implication the definitions of American literature.

The anthologies and histories, also, provide a wealth of visual messages, implying differing views of how American literature and culture should be portrayed. This is another benefit to capturing the images of the pages; transcripts only or html data capturing would omit potential visual impacts of tables of contents. There is a striking change in the tone of authority and assurance of the headings. In in his detailed descriptive table of contents, Tyler used phrases such as "True Fathers of American literature," "True classifications," "first Americans" British immigrants , "Birth year of American literature.

Spiller avoided such precise and absolute terms, but his major headings -- all in capitals and often preceded by a definitive THE e. Some of the more recent histories still use the definitive "the" and some capitalization, but the titles and subtitles are less apt to suggest definite patterns and unified historical progressions. This expansion makes it very difficult to construct authoritative patterns and themes applicable to all American literature s.

The change in tone can also be used to suggest the institutional coming of age of the discipline of American literature. Certainly, Tyler, in and even Spiller, during the s, were striving for legitimacy and authority. During the late s and the s, American literary studies had become part of the establishment. Elliott and Bercovitch had the luxury of speaking in more non-authoritarian ways and of allowing "public" disagreements among the contributors to their literary histories. The image cover is an appropriate introduction to this collage history, which stirred much debate when it appeared see Bauerlein and Wald.

Gone are the dense blocks of subheadings followed by numerous titles, gone are any definitive THEs, gone are any attempts at thematic or broad periodization organization. Instead, we have a chronological, single column of words titles and the contributor , each introduced by a specific date, and marching over 15 pages. Still, the diversity, as compared to mid-and even late 20 th- century histories is striking.

The possibilities will undoubtedly expand as the website continues to add more anthologies and histories and many more searchable transcribed pages that will open possibilities for statistical and graphic representations of concepts of American literature and culture.

American Literature, Volume II, 2nd Edition

It would be especially difficult to locate a significant random sample of the syllabi used before online syllabi became the norm. A more complete bibliography and digital archive, information garnered from publication and marketing processes and syllabi, and statistical or graphic representations, must, however, always be placed within the contexts of relevant historical, cultural, aesthetic, and theoretical perspectives. Those cross-fertilizations should help us to minimize temptations to reduce literature and literary history to statistics and graphs.

But I decided that there are other types of material that probably do require permission. I thank the following publishers and editors for these permissions. Addison Wesley Educational Publ. New York: Harper, , New York, Durham, beginning in Harcourt for the cover to Major Writers of America , Vol.

Numéros en texte intégral

Harris, ed. New York: Harcourt Brace-Holt, Tuscaloosa, Madison, New York Bauerlein, Mark, and Pricilla Wald. Bercovitch, Sacvan, et al. New York: Cambridge UP, Brogan, Martha L. Kaleidoscope of Digital American Literature. Washington: Digital Library Foundation, Cortissoz, Ellen MacKay Hutchinson. Society for the Study of American Women Writers.

American Literature, Volume II, 2nd Edition

Csicsila, Joseph. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, Dimock, Wai Chee, et al. New York: Columbia UP, Duyckinck, Evert, and George Duyckinck, eds. Cyclopaedia of American Literature. Elliott, Emory, et al. Foerster, Norman, and Robert P. Falk, eds. New York: Norton, Fiedler, Leslie A. New York: Laurel, Gottesman, Ronald, et al. Jacobson, Matthew Frye. American Quarterly 62 : Jehlen, Myra, and Michael Warner. The English Literatures of America, New York: Routledge, Joskers, Matthew.

Macroanalysis: Digital Methods of Literary History. Champaign: U of Illinois P, ,. Knapp, Samuel L. New York: Elam Bliss, Lauter, Paul, et al. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lexington: Heath, Levin, David, and Theodore L. Context and Response: The poetry of Dorothy Parker. The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story.


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The Atlanta Exposition Address. Leaves from the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian. Of Mr. Booker T.

A History of American Literature - eBook

Washington and Others. Old Rogaum and His Theresa. An Experiment in Misery.

Lift Every Voice and Sing. O Black and Unknown Bards. Madonna of the Evening Flowers. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Neither out Far nor in Deep.

A History of American Literature

Winesburg , Ohio : Hands. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. The Death of a Soldier. The Idea of Order at Key West. The Plain Sense of Things. Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. In a Station of the Metro. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Four Quartets: Burnt Norton. General Review of the Sex Situation.

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Babylon Revisited. At Melville's Tomb. Ode to the Confederate Dead. Bitter Fruit of the Tree. The Negro Speaks of Rivers.

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