At Emerson's Tomb : The Politics of Classic American Literature

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Overview

AWARDED: A Choice 1997 Oustanding Book of the Year

Representative works are interpreted in light of the two great political movements of the nineteenth century: the abolition of slavery and the women's rights movement. By reexamining Emerson, Poe, Melville, Douglass, Walt Whitman, Chopin, and Faulkner and others, Rowe assesses the degree to which major writers' attitudes toward race, class, and gender contribute to specific political reforms in nineteenth and twentieth-century American culture.

-Rowe's is a . . . provocative . . . important contribution both to literary history's methodology and to understanding the individual writers and the works he examines and discusses in detail. -Choice

A Choice 1997 Oustanding Book of the Year

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Rowe´s is a . . . provocative . . . important contribution both to literary history´s methodology and to understanding the individual writers and the works he examines and discusses in detail.
Booknews
Reassesses the liberal tradition of American literature in terms of its relevance to the abolition of slavery and the women's rights movement, examining the ways in which classic American writers from Emerson to Faulkner responded to changing attitudes toward race and gender from the 1840s to the 1940s. Looks at works such as Poe's "The Purloined Letter", Harriet Jacobs' "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl", Kate Chopin's "The Awakening", and William Faulkner's "Go Down, Moses". For scholars of American literature. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Choice

Rowe's is a... provocative... important contribution both to literary history's methodology and to understanding the individual writers and the works he examines and discusses in detail.

Choice

Rowe's is a... provocative... important contribution both to literary history's methodology and to understanding the individual writers and the works he examines and discusses in detail.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231058940
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 12/29/1996
  • Pages: 302
  • Lexile: 1640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

John Carlos Rowe is professor of English at the University of California, Irvine.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 At Emerson's Tomb 1
2 "Hamlet's Task": Emerson's Political Writings 17
3 Antebellum Slavery and Modern Criticism: Edgar Allan Poe's Pym and "The Purloined Letter" 42
4 A Critique of Ideology: Herman Melville's Pierre 63
5 Between Politics and Poetics: Frederick Douglass' Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, Written by Himself 96
6 Reconstructing The Family: Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl 124
7 The Body Poetic: Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps 145
8 Fatal Speculations - Murder, Money, and Manners: Mark Twain's The Gilded Age and Pudd'nhead Wilson 162
9 The Politics of Innocence: Henry James' The American 179
10 The Economics of The Body: Kate Chopin's The Awakening 200
11 The African-American Voice: William Faulkner's Go Down, Moses 222
12 Revivals 247
Notes 253
Index 293
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