By Richard Gray
This can be a monstrous e-book, over 800 pages of textual content. i purchased it simply because even supposing i've got learn a good volume of yank literature there are lots of gaps in my wisdom. specifically I had an curiosity in 20th century poetry and in addition i used to be curious to understand what a clean examine literature may perhaps inform me concerning the improvement of america as a rustic over the past 200 years.
I am now not an instructional and feature now not studied literature in an instructional atmosphere because I left university. grey it sort of feels to me adopts a story technique. His examining is mammoth and whilst he methods an writer his basic goal appears to be like, what did they need to say.
One or issues: literature within the 19th century usually looks concerning the desert, the include of the barren region, exploring it.
In the 20th century there is a sure lack of that means, an adventure of alienation. The taming of the desolate tract, the come up of the towns and railroads leaves americans looking their souls for which means. particularly the poets of the early century like Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens etc.
I'm definite a few readers will think aggrieved that a few authors were skimped, yet particularly i cannot give some thought to someone he is left out.
A significant success. Very unstuffy, and greater than readable.
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Extra info for A History of American Literature (Blackwell History of Literature)
It was the same readiness to associate spiritual and material conquest that had led Fray Marcos de Niza to use the sign of the cross to announce that Spain had taken possession of the legendary Seven Cities of gold. Mastery of souls and mastery of the land shared a story and a vocabulary; they were part of one great imperial project. That project was also the subject of and inspiration for the first American epic poem of European origin, Historia de la Nueva Mexico, published in 1610. The poem was written by Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá (1555–1620), who was the official chronicler of the expedition led by Juan de Oñate that established Spanish settlements in north central New Mexico.
The details of the plan, which Bullock seriously proposed for the English colonies in Virginia, hardly matter. What does matter is that this was symptomatic of a general tendency to see the New World, particularly in the South, as a new Eden that might and should develop into a new commonwealth: a new England in which would be recovered the lost virtues of the old. That tendency was to have a profound impact, not only on individual writers and thinkers like Thomas Jefferson, but on the whole project of imagining America.
It became commonplace to ‘prove’ the providential nature of the place by such things as the miraculous escape of two early English explorers, called Gates and Somers, from shipwreck and their subsequent discovery of Bermuda. It became equally commonplace to describe in detail the fertility and beauty of the countryside, as in this passage from ‘Virginia . . Richly and Truly Valued’ by Williams, suggesting how the supposed virginity of the new country was accompanied by a pleasing ripeness: Nor is the present wilderness of it without a particular beauty, being all over a natural Grove of Oaks, Pines, Cedars, Cypress, Mulberry, Chestnut, Laurel, Sassafras, Cherry, Plumtree, and Vines, all of so delectable an aspect, that the melancholiest eye in the World cannot look upon it without contentment or admiration.