American Literature, American Culture / Edition 1

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Overview


American Literature, American Culture is the first comprehensive anthology of American literary criticism to appear in many years and the first collection to bring together the tradition of American literary criticism as cultural critique. This unique anthology assembles reviews of early works, major critical essays, excerpts from landmark studies, and the most influential examples of the criticism practiced today. The selections address the dominant questions in the American literary tradition: What are the cultural responsibilities of the American writer? What are the characteristics of a national literature? Is a national literature even possible? How do gender and race affect the way we understand literature? What role does literature play in a democratic society? Organized chronologically, the four sections of the volume gather the most vital and enduring arguments in American literary and cultural politics in each era, covering such prominent issues as American exceptionalism, the racial divide, gender, and class identity. The book pays particular attention to the historical background of contemporary debates about multiculturalism.
American Literature, American Culture is ideal for undergraduate and graduate courses in American literature, criticism, and American Studies. It also serves as a useful supplementary text in upper-level courses in criticism. Its range proves that at every juncture of the nation's intellectual history, criticism has provided an indispensable way of determining America's most fundamental meanings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195085211
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/8/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 624
  • Lexile: 1400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
I Formations 1
1 "What Is an American?" 5
2 Toward a Definition of American Literature (selections)
"To the Public" 12
Excerpt from North American Review 12
"National Literature" 24
"Marginalia" 25
"Americanism in Literature" 26
3 "American Literature" 37
4 "The American Scholar" 48
5 "Nationality in Literature" 59
6 "The American Scholar" 66
7 prefaces
The House of the Seven Gables 88
Blithedale Romance 89
The Marble Faun 91
8 "Hawthorne and His Mosses" 93
9 "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" 102
10 "How Should Women Write?" 118
11 "Democratic Vistas" 121
12 From "Hawthorne" 138
13 From Criticism and Fiction 143
14 "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences" 148
15 The Great American Novel (selections)
"The Great American Novel" 155
"American Novels" 160
"The American Novel" 168
"The Great American Novel" 177
II Modern American Criticism, 1900-1945 183
1 "The Sorrow Songs" 187
2 "Why Is American Literature Bourgeois?" 194
3 "The Genteel Tradition in American Philosophy" 200
4 "On Creating a Usable Past" 213
5 "The Critic and American Life" 217
6 "The American Novel" 226
7 "The New Negro" 232
8 "Proletarian Realism" 239
9 "Reconstructed but Unregenerate" 242
10 From American Humor 253
11 "Characteristics of Negro Expression" 258
12 "Literature as Equipment for Living" 269
13 "The Forerunners" 275
14 "The Cult of Experience in American Writing" 283
15 "The Economy of the American Writer" 292
III Postwar Era, 1945-1970 299
1 "The Responsibilities of the Critic" 303
2 "Come Back to the Raft Ag'in, Huck Honey!" 312
3 "Reality in America" 316
4 "Richard Wright's Blues" 326
5 "Everybody's Protest Novel" 335
6 "American Literature and the American Language" 339
7 "The Myth of the Garden and Turner's Frontier Hypothesis" 349
8 "Errand into the Wilderness" 358
9 "The Hero's Progress" 370
10 "Harriet Beecher Stowe" 380
11 "Masscult and Midcult" 393
12 "The Jew as Modern American Writer" 403
13 "Vesuvius at Home: The Power of Emily Dickinson" 409
IV Contemporaries, 1970-1998 427
1 "Melodramas of Beset Manhood: How Theories of American Fiction Exclude Women Authors" 431
2 "A Modest Ethnic Proposal" 443
3 "'But Is It Any Good?': The Institutionalization of Literary Value" 455
4 "Writing, 'Race,' and the Difference It Makes" 463
5 "The Beast in the Closet: James and the Writing of Homosexual Panic" 476
6 "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book" 497
7 "Hawthorne's A-Morality of Compromise" 516
8 "Unspeakable Things Unspoken: The Afro-American Presence in American Literature" 538
9 "The Vanishing American" 559
10 "The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism" 573
11 "How to Tame a Wild Tongue" 585
12 "American Literary Emergence as a Postcolonial Phenomenon" 592
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