American Procession / Edition 1

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Overview

In this illuminating study of the "crucial century" 1830-1930, Alfred Kazin views the major figures in American writing, beginning when Ralph Waldo Emerson left the church and inspired a national literature on the basis of a religious revolution, and ending with the triumph of modernism - Eliot, Pound, Hemingway, Fitzgerald - and with the revelation after World War I of the "postponed power" of those who had been modern before their time: Henry Adams, Melville, Whitman, Dickinson.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

With An American Procession, Alfred Kazin confirms a reservation in the front tier of the reviewing stand, next to his eminent predecessors Van Wyck Brooks and Edmund Wilson. I have nothing but praise for An American Procession. Alfred Kazin himself can write brilliantly, catching the 'very essence' of an author in an epithet or a phrase...He is a first-rate comprehender, explainer, and savorer. The power of his book lies, in the last analysis, in Mr. Kazin's profound instinct for style.
— Marcus Cunliffe

New Republic

The Procession is wonderfully exciting to read...An authentic entrance, as Whitman called the self, to all facts.
— Richard Howard

New Yorker
A sense of caring intimacy lifts Kazin's survey above the usual inventory of masterworks...An American Procession is a refresher in the best sense...It vivaciously refreshes our awareness.
The Atlantic

Kazin is one of the most seasoned and subtle critics of American literature. He has always balanced an awareness of the pressure of external circumstances with a sense that books are also a series of private meetings between authors and ink bottles. He sees writers as at once facing the world and facing their desks.
— Richard Ellmann

New York Times Book Review - Marcus Cunliffe
With An American Procession, Alfred Kazin confirms a reservation in the front tier of the reviewing stand, next to his eminent predecessors Van Wyck Brooks and Edmund Wilson. I have nothing but praise for An American Procession. Alfred Kazin himself can write brilliantly, catching the 'very essence' of an author in an epithet or a phrase...He is a first-rate comprehender, explainer, and savorer. The power of his book lies, in the last analysis, in Mr. Kazin's profound instinct for style.
New Republic - Richard Howard
The Procession is wonderfully exciting to read...An authentic entrance, as Whitman called the self, to all facts.
The Atlantic - Richard Ellmann
Kazin is one of the most seasoned and subtle critics of American literature. He has always balanced an awareness of the pressure of external circumstances with a sense that books are also a series of private meetings between authors and ink bottles. He sees writers as at once facing the world and facing their desks.
Marcus Cunliffe
I have nothing but praise for ''An American Procession.'' Mr. Kazin may not deal with the entire procession, but what he does cover is consummately well handled. -- New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674031432
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 420
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Alfred Kazin was Distinguished Professor of English, Emeritus, at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the author and editor of many books, including, most recently, A Writer's America: Landscape in American Literature.
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Table of Contents

Preface, 1996

Prologue, 1918: Old Man in a Dry Month

Part One. The Self as Power: America When Young, 1830-1865

1. The Priest Departs, the Divine Literatus Comes: Emerson

2. Things Are in the Saddle and Ride Mankind: Emerson

3. A Lover and His Guilty Land: Thoreau

4. The Ghost Sense: Hawthorne and Poe

5. A More Perfect Union: Whitman to Lincoln

Part Two. Modern Times, 1865-1900

6. "Melville Is Dwelling Somewhere in New York"

7. Wrecked, Solitary, Here: Dickinson's Room of Her Own

8. Creatures of Circumstance: Mark Twain

9. The James Country

10. Chicago and "the East": Dreiser, Adams, Mark Twain

11. The Youth: Stephen Crane

Part Three. Ruling Style: History and the Moderns, 1900-1929

12. A Postponed Power: Henry Adams

13. Going to Europe: Eliot and Pound

14. An American Tragedy and The Sound and the Fury

15. Hemingway the Painter

Retrospect, 1932: The Twenties and the Great American Thing

Index

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