Lost in the Customhouse: Authorship in the American Renaissance [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this vigorous challenge to dominant literary criticism, Jerome Loving extends the traditional period of American literary rebirth to the end of the 19th century and argues for the intrinsic value of literature in the face of new historicist and deconstructionist readings. Bucking the trend for revisionist interpretations, Loving discusses the major work of the 19th century’s canonized writers as restorative adventures with the self and society.From Irving, Hawthorne, Melville, Poe, Thoreau, and Emerson to ...
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Lost in the Customhouse: Authorship in the American Renaissance

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Overview

In this vigorous challenge to dominant literary criticism, Jerome Loving extends the traditional period of American literary rebirth to the end of the 19th century and argues for the intrinsic value of literature in the face of new historicist and deconstructionist readings. Bucking the trend for revisionist interpretations, Loving discusses the major work of the 19th century’s canonized writers as restorative adventures with the self and society.From Irving, Hawthorne, Melville, Poe, Thoreau, and Emerson to Whitman, Twain, Dickinson, James, Chopin, and Dreiser, Loving finds the American literary tradition filled with narrators who keep waking up to the central scene of the author’s real or imagined life. They travel through a customhouse of the imagination in which the Old World experience of the present is taxed by the New World of the utopian past, where life is always cyclical instead of linear and ameliorative.Loving celebrates, enjoys, and experiences these awakened and reborn writers as he challenges the notion that American literature is preponderately “cultural work.” In the epilogue, he packs up his own carpetbag—the American ego—and passes through the European customhouse to find that American writers are more readily perceived as literary geniuses outside their culture than within it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587291357
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 268
  • File size: 741 KB

Meet the Author

Jerome Loving, Distinguished Professor of English at Texas A&M University, is the author or editor of nine books on American literature, including The Last Titan: A Life of Theodore Dreiser and Walt Whitman: The Song of Himself. He is currently at work on a biography of Mark Twain.
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Table of Contents




Prologue


Acknowledgments


THE AMERICAN RENAISSANCE : PART ONE


living's Paradigm



Hawthorne's Awakening in the Customhouse



Melville's High on the Seas



Poe's Voyage from Edgartown



Emerson's Beautiful Estate



Thoreau's Quarrel with Emerson



THE AMERICAN RENAISSANCE : PART TWO


Whitman's Idea of Women



Twain's Cigar-Store Indians



Dickinson's Unpublished Canon



Henry James's Pearl at a Great Price



Chopin's Twenty-Ninth Bather



Dreiser's Novel About a Nun



Epilogue


Notes


Index

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