This is the first thorough account of the many attempts during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to fashion a distinctly American epic literature from a wide range of potentially heroic New World subjects. McWilliams considers the cultural, political and literary implications of adapting Enlightenment news of republican progress to a genre that had traditionally celebrated the greatness of warriors. He shows how and why the epic in America had to be transformed from imitative narrative poetry into the new genres of prose history (Irving, Prescott, Parkman), fictional romance (Cooper, Melville), and free verse (Whitman).
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Series:||Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series , #36|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 2.40(d)|
Table of Contents
Part I. Imitations: Homer's Tyrannous Eye:
2. Freedom's Heroes;
3. Freedom's Fools;
4. A White Achilles for the West?;
Part II. Transformations: The Epic in new Genres:
5. Red Achilles, Red Satan;
6. The Destroying Angel;
7. Till a Better Epic comes along;
8. 'An Epic of Democracy?'; Prospect; Notes; Index.