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Showing papers in "American Literature in 1969"



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Grimsted's "Melodrama Unveiled" explores early American drama to try to understand why such severely limited plays were so popular for so long as mentioned in this paper. But it does not consider how theater reflected the rapidly changing society of antebellum America.
Abstract: David Grimsted's \"Melodrama Unveiled\" explores early American drama to try to understand why such severely limited plays were so popular for so long. Concerned with both the plays and the dramatic settings that gave them life, Grimsted offers us rich descriptions of the interaction of performers, audiences, critics, managers, and stage mechanics. Because these plays had to appeal immediately and directly to diverse audiences, they provide dramatic clues to the least common denominator of social values and concerns. In considering both the context and content of popular culture, Grimsted's book suggests how theater reflected the rapidly changing society of antebellum America.

75 citations





Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Remington, Wister, and Wister as mentioned in this paper described the formation of an Eastern Establishment and the Western Experience, 1835-1885, and the Rough Riders: Regiment of True Americans.
Abstract: Preface Preface to the Paperback Edition Introduction Part I: The East 1. The Formation of an Eastern Establishment 2. Easterners and the Western Experience, 1835-1885 3. Remington, Roosevelt, Wister: The East and Adolescence Part II: The West 4. Roosevelt's West: The Beat of Hardy Life 5. Remington's West: Men with the Bark On 6. Wister's West: The Cowboy as Cultural Hero Part III: East and West in the Decade of Consensus 7. The Rough Riders: Regiment of True Americans 8. Technocracy and Arcadia: Conservation under Roosevelt 9. Remington, Roosevelt, Wister: Consensus and the West References Index

35 citations




Journal ArticleDOI

20 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The importance of the Negro's role in Melville's work is, in fact, surprising in view of the absence of black men from the work of his contemporaries as discussed by the authors, though Negroes figure prominently in such abolitionist efforts as Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Abstract: Jf NASMUCH AS MELVILLE PUBLISHED most of his best work in the years between the Mexican and Civil Wars-the years during which the interconnected problems of westward expansion and slavery reached crisis stage-it might seem, as Sidney Kaplan thinks, "not surprising that from Typee in I846 to the Battle-Pieces of i866 there is scarcely an important item in the Melville canon that does not contain Negro characters or touch in some way the question of bondage and revolt."' Yet the frequency and importance of the Negro's role in Melville's work is, in fact, surprising in view of the absence of black men from the work of his contemporaries. Though Negroes figure prominently in such abolitionist efforts as Uncle Tom's Cabin, they seldom appear in the nonpropagandistic writings of Melville's literary peers. Emerson, Thoreau, and Whittier, for example, may have spoken and editorialized against the evils of slavery and the wickedness of Daniel Webster and Judge Shaw, but Negroes as individuals have no place in their poetry. Negroes do, of course, figure in Whitman's work, but Leaves of Grass was published four years after Moby-Dick, and Whitman was not widely known until still later. Mention of Negroes and slavery is also conspicuously absent from the stories and novels of Melville's close friend and correspondent Nathaniel Hawthorne (though he discusses the slavery issue in his campaign biography of Franklin Pierce, whose administration was pro-slavery). Furthermore, Melville's correspondence makes no reference to the slavery issue. Even the letters to his father-in-law and confidant, Judge Lemuel Shaw, contain no mention of either Negroes or slavery, though Shaw was at the time embroiled in the fugitive slave cases


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Melville's "Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids" is a diptych of two sketches as mentioned in this paper, with two levels of meaning: biological and social burdens of women.
Abstract: C RITICAL EXEGESIS of "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids" has focused on the longer of the two sketches. The first seems to acquire its significance largely through illumination thrown back on it by the tale of the maids, a work which could easily stand alone. There is little argument about the levels of meaning in the latter: in the general view, E. H. Eby's comment that the tale presents both the biological and social burdens of women is still valid. Related to the first part of the diptych, the two levels of meaning are appropriately extended or modified. For Eby, the maids' drudgery and female subjugation to biological processes contrast with the bachelors' happy life and male freedom.' For C. G. Hoffmann, W. R. Thompson, and R. H. Fogle, further dimensions are apparent: a distinction between "Old World leisure and New World industrialism";2 an indictment of the moral weaknesses of both civilizations;3 an attack on "mass production, the publishing business, and some theories of American democracy,"4 with the first tale serving to point up comparison and contrast. Most critics feel that the diptych is technically unsuccessful. The second tale is "bristling . . . with sexual symbols,"5 but when the allegory is correlated with the first tale it seems to illustrate some tritely obvious fact of life. Melville's serious critical purpose in linking the civilizations of Europe and America does not come through because of a "structural flaw."' His obliaue approach ob-




Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Portrait of 1a Lady as mentioned in this paper is a classic example of an open-ended novel, and the ending of the novel has been widely accepted as a foregone conclusion.
Abstract: TN AN ENTRY IN HIS NOTEBOOK early in i88i, while The Portrait of 1a Lady was being serialized in both American and English magazines, Henry James accurately forecast the most common criticisms his novel would receive. "There has been a want of action in the earlier part,"' he wrote, and, "The obvious criticism of course will be that it is not finished-that I have not seen the heroine to the end of her situation-that I have left her en l'air."2 Certainly, critics have delighted in scholarly discussions and debates concerning the artistic merits of the open-ended nature of James's novel. Leon Edel notes that "readers today-particularly those in search of a happy ending-tend to feel that the central drama of Isabel's life remains unresolved."3 Most critics today, however, including Edel himself, view the ending as the logical concluding brush stroke needed to complete the portrait. Laurence Holland, for example, sees the ending as the second of two "framing scenes" in the novel: the first occurs in early spring of I871 in Albany when Isabel is awaiting Caspar Goodwood, just before Mrs. Touchett arrives; the second occurs in late May of I877 when Caspar suddenly appears before Isabel at Gardencourt and receives his inevitable dismissal. By this device, says Holland, "the pattern is completed."4 F. W. Dupee feels that Isabel's decision to return to Rome "is an austere decision but inescapable."5 Oscar Cargill also thinks the ending inevitable: "How else could James have closed his novel?"' And R. W. Stallman calls the ending "a foregone conclusion."7


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A study of Emerson's journals of this period reveals that by I83I he had abandoned most of the tenets of Unitarianism and the Scottish philosophers, and had already developed a "transcendental" theory of human nature as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: EMERSON S IDEAS UNDERWENT a radical change from I82I, the year of his graduation from Harvard, to I836, the year in which Nature was published. A study of Emerson's journals of this period reveals that by I83I he had abandoned most of the tenets of Unitarianism and the Scottish philosophers, and had already developed a "transcendental" theory of human nature.' The publication of Nature marks his first formal statement of a transcendental metaphysics. Even though, as the journals demonstrate, his breakaway from New England orthodoxy was gradual enough to be almost imperceptible to Emerson himself, we should expect, along with this change in philosophy, a corresponding change in Emerson's theory of rhetoric. Briefly, Emerson first wrote in a tradition dominated by the rhetorical theory of the eighteenth century (which I discuss in Part I) and gradually developed a very different theory, influenced by writers of the romantic school of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (which I discuss in Part II).

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The American Review: A Whig Journal of Politics, Literature, Art, and Science as mentioned in this paper was the first publication of the Whig Review, which was designed to offset the influence of the Democratic Party's The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, a journal in which the Young America group was promulgating what Longfellow called a "Loco-foco politico-literary system."
Abstract: In I840, after an emotional campaign which substituted slogans and enthusiasm ("Tippecanoe, and Tyler too!") for principles and issues, Benjamin Harrison, the Whig candidate, was selected president of the United States. Harrison died shortly after his inauguration, and Tyler, who succeeded to the presidency, broke with the party, which was only a makeshift conglomeration of hastily thrown-together elements, organized to put up some opposition to the Democrats. Whig leaders, including Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, determined to formulate and set before the public an ideology which would represent the principles of the party. For this purpose, they founded, in I845, The American Review: A Whig Journal of Politics, Literature, Art, and Science, commonly called the Whig Review. The magazine, which appeared monthly, was designed to offset the influence of the Democratic Party's The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, a journal in which the "Young America" group was promulgating what Longfellow called a "Loco-foco politico-literary system." The first editor of the Whig Review was George H. Colton, 27, a Yale graduate and sometime poet. The contents of the first issue provide an idea of the type and scope of material which the magazine offered its readers during the eight years of its existence: "Introductory"; "The Position of

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is well known that Dreiser's early reading of Spencer's First Principles had a profound impact on his own psyche as discussed by the authors, and his subsequent success as a novelist cannot be solely attributed to his naturalism, but rather to his insight, his sympathy and his tragic view of life.
Abstract: IT IS A COMMONPLACE OBSERVATION that Herbert Spencer's First Principles had a profound impact upon Dreiser's psyche. Dreiser describes his "few weeks' reading" of Spencer in I894 as having blown him, "intellectually, to bits" and left him "numb."' He remarked to Frank Harris: "[Spencer] nearly killed me, took every shred of belief away from me; showed me that I was a chemical atom in a whirl of unknown forces; the realization clouded my mind."2 Matthiessen refers to Dreiser's experience as "a catalyzing event"3 and states that Dreiser "gave closest attention to Spencer's detailed formulation and illustration of the law of evolution, to the argument that the Persistence of Force is the ultimate basis of knowledge."4 Another equally commonplace observation is that, as Walcutt puts it, "Dreiser's greatness as a novelist cannot be accounted for by his naturalism" and that his "greatness is in his insight, his sympathy and his tragic view of life."5 But if Sister Carrie is a "great" novel, Dreiser's indebtedness to Spencer must not be underestimated: though the novel's "greatness" cannot be wholly accounted for by its naturalism, the failure to go beyond general critical references to Spencerian concepts of "forces" and "chemism" in the novel' does an injustice to Spencer's specific influence upon Dreiser's artistry. Though, as Shafer points out, Spencer's impact on Dreiser "really is important,"7 there has been no detailed examination of the specific nature of that influence on Dreiser's first

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Their Wedding Journey as mentioned in this paper is a travelogue of the honeymoon of Basil and Isabel March, whose journey takes them from Boston to Niagara, via New York, with return by way of Canada, has charmed readers since it began to appear in the pages of the Atlantic Monthly in I871.
Abstract: TI HAT WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS'S NOVELS OFTEN PRESENT the dark underside of American life and of man's existence as well as its "smiling aspects" is no longer a startling idea to readers of the latest criticism. A recent book' by George C. Carrington, Jr., stresses the terrors of the mysterious, violent, alien, and often cruel world in which Howells's characters are caught and struggle. Carrington's thesis is that in Howells's novels "the commonplace . . . is potent and sometimes threatening, . . . plentifully offset by violence, horror, 'blackness,' and the other gothic traits admired by present-day critics."2 This somber vision is most easily discernible in the novels of Howells's maturity; but to assert that Their Wedding Journey, his first attempt at a novel, can be classed among the "dark novels" might be as jolting a statement as Lionel Trilling's description of Robert Frost as a "terrifying" poet was at its first pronouncement. This idyll of the delightful honeymooners, Basil and Isabel March, whose journey takes them from Boston to Niagara, via New York, with return by way of Canada, has charmed readers since it began to appear in the pages of the Atlantic Monthly in I871. A-n excellent travelogue, it is full of sprightly good humor and whimsy, delicate irony, and bits of realistic observations and comments on the American scene and human nature. These attractive features, however, have misled even those who recognize the tragic awareness in the novels of Howells's prime, for unanimously they discount or disclaim the seriousness of this early work. Fryckstedt, for example, finds it devoid of the tragic aspects of human life which Howells would deal with later. He states categorically:

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is not surprising that during the past generation Sherwood Anderson's literary reputation should have suffered an eclipse, for the renascent American literature which he envisioned and in part exemplified half a century ago was rooted in the soil and in a sense of wonder and mystery alien both to the realism which preceded it and to the sophisticated naturalism that followed it as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: IT IS NOT SURPRISING that during the past generation Sherwood Anderson's literary reputation should have suffered an eclipse, for the renascent American literature which he envisioned and in part exemplified half a century ago was rooted in the soil and in a sense of wonder and mystery alien both to the realism which preceded it and to the sophisticated naturalism that followed it. To be sure, his work has rarely evoked the degree of condescension found in the dictum of Miss Susan Sontag, who, somewhat ironically upbraiding Anderson for taking himself too seriously, recently dismissed Winesburg, Ohio as "bad to the point of being laughable." In view of her addiction to the New Wave of French fiction, with its commitment to sensory surfaces and psychic fragmentation as contrasted with Anderson's concern for inwardness and identity, her verdict is inevitable.' That such a reversal in his literary fortunes would occur Anderson himself surmised over forty years ago. Acknowledging himself to be not a great writer but rather a "crude woodsman" who had been "received into the affection of princes," he prophesied that "the intellectuals are in for their inning" and that he would be "pushed aside." And indeed, though more judiciously than Miss Sontag, estimable critics have concurred in assigning Anderson a lesser rank than did his early contemporaries. Soon after the author's death Lionel Trilling, while confessing a "residue of admiration" for his integrity and his authenticity as the voice of a groping generation, nevertheless adjudged him too innocent of both the European literary heritage and the role of ideas in psychic maturity. More recently Tony Tanner, in an analysis of the naivete of American writers, found in Anderson a distressing example of such writers' penchant for "uncritical empathy" and for dealing in discrete

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The distinction between the sermons of the two ministers goes only a short way in defining the cleavage between them as mentioned in this paper, and not only style but also the issue of "preparation" and the supposedly invariable Puritan sermon form are involved in this pervasive and deep-seated cleavage.
Abstract: F THE PURITAN MINISTERS who immigrated to Massachusetts 0before the English civil wars, John Cotton (I584-I652) and Thomas Hooker (1586?-i647) were the most eminent and influential. They sailed to Boston on the same ship in i633 but separated three years later when Hooker, along with his congregation, moved to Hartford. The two men diverged in their sermons as well as in their lives. Hooker, as almost every student of the two preachers has observed, wrote vigorously and used many figures of speech and homely analogies, while Cotton was more dry and abstract and much more sparing in his use of figurative expressions.' Actually, this distinction which tradition has drawn between the sermons of the two ministers goes only a short way in defining the cleavage between them. Not only style but the issue of "preparation" and the supposedly invariable Puritan sermon form are involved in this pervasive and deep-seated cleavage. In this paper, which attempts to define the difference between the sermons of Cotton and Hooker, I shall make use of the rhetorical vocabulary of the Puritans; but I am convinced we must go beyond this vocabulary if we are to grasp what happens in the sermons of these two preachers.




Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Dreiser's first attempt to write a story about the lynching of a Missouri Negro is preserved in an unpublished University of Virginia manuscript called "A Victim of Justice" as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: T HANKS TO THE WORK of Robert H. Elias and W. A. Swanberg, we are beginning to have an adequate sense of Dreiser's life. But many aspects of Dreiser the artist remain relatively obscure or unexplored-in particular his aesthetic beliefs and fictional techniques at various stages of his career. An excellent opportunity to study Dreiser's developing aesthetic lies in the existence of several versions of his short story "Nigger Jeff." The extant versions of this story reveal with considerable clarity and force Dreiser's changing beliefs concerning the nature of fiction. Dreiser's first attempt to write a story about the lynching of a Missouri Negro is preserved in an unpublished University of Virginia manuscript called "A Victim of Justice."' Although "A Victim of Justice" is clearly a work of the I890's, it is difficult to date its composition precisely. The narrator of the story begins by noting that he has recently spent "a day in one of Missouri's pleasant villages." While visiting a Potter's Field, he recalls a rural Missouri lynching that he had witnessed "several years since." This opening situation is the product of a number of events of the mid-i89o's. Dreiser was a reporter on the St. Louis Republic in the fall of I893, and it was during this period that he observed the lynching on which the story is based.2 In addition, on July 23, I894, Dreiser


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Mark Twain underwent, for at least the third time, a phrenological examination and the results of his analysis were recorded in the firm's periodical, the Phrenological Journal and Science of Health, in the issue of April, I9OI as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: JN THE WINTER OF I900-I90I, Mark Twain, having returned from years of wandering abroad, settled with his family in a large furnished house at I4 West Tenth Street, New York City. In February, I9OI, the North American Review carried his scathing article, "To the Person Sitting in Darkness," and the public began to discern in their veteran fun-maker a crusading, reforming spirit. Besieged by editors, reporters, and lecture agents, Samuel Clemens was becoming "Huck Finn with a gun," the preacher of the "new Gospel of St. Mark."' It was during this period of his life that Mark Twain underwent, for at least the third time, a phrenological examination-the nineteenth-century ancestor of a psychoanalysis. Both the examination and the phrenological portrait that resulted from it appear to have gone unnoticed by his hosts of biographers and critics. This neglected analysis of Mark Twain deserves to be rescued from oblivion, affording as it does a comparatively early insight into the tragic or serious character of the great humorist. Mark Twain's examiner was a member of New York's most successful firm of phrenologist-publishers, Fowler and Wells. Their office was located in a four-story and basement brownstone building at 27 East Twenty-first Street,2 which, having been remodeled to furnish a bookstore, business offices, examination department, lecture room and Cabinet or Museum, was known as the Golgotha of Gotham-a veritable House of Skulls. There, or possibly at his own home on West Tenth Street, the sixty-five-year-old Mark Twain bared his cranium to the manipulations of the Fowler and Wells examiner and the results of his analysis were recorded in the firm's periodical, the Phrenological Journal and Science of Health, in the issue of April, I9OI.