The Reign of Wonder: Naivety and Reality in American Literature

Overview

The adopted attitude towards reality and experience in American literature tends to be one of wonder and cultivated naivety rather than analysis and judgement. In this book, Dr Tanner offers some reasons for this and seeks to demonstrate the peculiar importance of wonder in American literature, by examining a number of key writers and showing how they confronted and assimilated reality at the same time he considers some of the difficulties incurred by this approach and studies ...

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Overview

The adopted attitude towards reality and experience in American literature tends to be one of wonder and cultivated naivety rather than analysis and judgement. In this book, Dr Tanner offers some reasons for this and seeks to demonstrate the peculiar importance of wonder in American literature, by examining a number of key writers and showing how they confronted and assimilated reality at the same time he considers some of the difficulties incurred by this approach and studies its effects on American style.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521291989
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/2/1977
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: the sleep of reason; Part I. The Transcendentalists: 1. Saints behold: the transcendentalist point of view; 2. Emerson: the unconquered eye and the enchanted circle; 3. Thoreau and the sauntering eye; 4. Walt Whitman's ecstatic first step; Part II. Mark Twain: 6. The doctors of the wilderness; 7. A system of reduction; 8. The voice of the outlaw; 9. The pond of youth; 10. Huck Finn and the reflections of a saphead; Part III. The Twentieth Century: 11. Gertrude Stein and the complete actual present; 12. Sherwood Anderson's Little Things; 13. Ernest Hemingway's Unhurried Sensations; Part IV. Henry James: 14. The candid outsider; 15. The range of wonderment; 16. The subjective adventure; Afterword: wonder and alienation - the mystic and the moviegoer; References; Index.

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