Catalogue


Urban revelations : images of ruin in the American city, 1790-1860 /
by Donald J. McNutt.
imprint
New York : Routledge, 2006.
description
xi, 198 p.
ISBN
0415976405 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Routledge, 2006.
isbn
0415976405 (acid-free paper)
contents note
Framing the Indian : children of the forest on the urban scene -- "The idea of this room" : houses and the image of fiction in Arthur Mervyn -- "Haunts about town" : Poe's tales and Eastern State Penitentiary -- The city behind the masquerade of fiction : Melville's The confidence-man.
catalogue key
5839588
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This study examines at the ethos of national progress by looking at how American writers import images of ruins from European aesthetics to cast the city as a site of instability. This book provides different ways of reading the relationships among urban culture, ruin, and the formation of American literature.
Long Description
This study reexamines the ethos of national progress by analyzing how American writers import images of ruins from European aesthetics to cast the city as a site of instability and cultural impermanence. While highlighting the transatlantic currency of ruin imagery, the study demonstrates through interdisciplinary analyses of architecture and material culture how American images of ruin intersect with the symbolic geographies of city and home to shape and reflect citizenship, law, and perceptions of race. Arguing that ruin imagery works to disclose the culture's inner dimensions, the study incorporates deep archival research and synthesizes theories on geography and architecture to read unstable settings in the works of Philip Freneau, Charles Brockden Brown, Poe, and Melville. The study focuses on the ways these writers relied on ruin imagery to interpret such subjects as Anglo-Indian relations in the nation's early capital; the dialogue between secrecy and yellow fever in 1790s Philadelphia; the impact of antebellum penitentiaries on conceptions of mind and domestic space; and the mutability of nationhood in the decade just before the Civil War. The book provides dynamic ways of reading the relationships among urban culture, ruin, concepts of instability, and the formation of American literature.
Main Description
This study reexamines the ethos of national progress by analyzing how American writers import images of ruins from European aesthetics to cast the city as a site of instability and cultural impermanence. While highlighting the transatlantic currency of ruin imagery, the study demonstrates through interdisciplinary analyses of architecture and material culture how American images of ruin intersect with the symbolic geographies of city and home to shape and reflect citizenship, law, and perceptions of race. Arguing that ruin imagery works to disclose the culture's inner dimensions, the study incorporates deep archival research and synthesizes theories on geography and architecture to read unstable settings in the works of Philip Freneau, Charles Brockden Brown, Poe, and Melville. The study focuses on the ways these writers relied on ruin imagery to interpret such subjects as Anglo-Indian relations in the nation's early capital; the dialogue between secrecy and yellow fever in 1790s Philadelphia; the impact ofantebellum penitentiaries on conceptions of mind and domestic space; and the mutability of nationhood in the decade just before the Civil War. The book provides dynamic ways of reading the relationships among urban culture, ruin, concepts of instability, and the formation of American literature.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Framing the Indian: Children of the Forest on the Urban Scenep. 21
"The Idea of this Room": Houses and the Image of Fiction in Arthur Mervynp. 59
"Haunts about Town": Poe's Tales and Eastern State Penitentiaryp. 91
The City Behind the Masquerade of Fiction: Melville's The Confidence-Manp. 125
Notesp. 165
Bibliographyp. 179
Indexp. 189
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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