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The American Writer and the European Tradition was first published in 1950. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In a series of perceptive essays by twelve scholars this volume brings a fresh viewpoint to the study of American literature. From the colonial gentlemen-scholars to contemporary poets and novelists, the American writer is seen in relation to the cultural influences that flowed from Europe to America, intermingled with native tendencies, and then flowed from America to Europe.
Three themes bind the essays together: What was the American writer's original heritage of European ideas? What ideas, moods, manners in American writers were indigenous, or mostly so, to America? And finally, what has been the influence of American letters abroad?
The Renaissance Tradition in America Louis B. Wright 3
The Enlightenment and the Amerian Dream Theodore Hornberger 16
Benjamin Franklin: Promoter of Useful Knowledge Robert E. Spiller 29
Cosmopolitanism in American Literature before 1880 Stanley T. Williams 45
Origins of a Native American Literary Tradition Henry Nash Smith 63
Americanization of the European Heritage Leon Howard 78
Amerian Writers as Critics of Nineteenth-Century Society Willard Thorp 90
The Reception of Some Nineteenth-Century American Authors in Europe Clarence Gohdes 106
American Naturalism: Reflections from Another Era Alfred Kazin 121
Contemporary American Literature in Its Relation to Ideas Lionel Trilling 132
The American Poet in Relation to Science Norman Holmes Pearson 154
Some European Views of Contemporary American Literature Harry Levin 168