Catalogue


Formalism, experience, and the making of American literature in the nineteenth century [electronic resource] /
Theo Davis.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, c2007.
description
vi, 203 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521872960 (hbk. : alk. paper), 9780521872966 (hbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
author
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, c2007.
isbn
0521872960 (hbk. : alk. paper)
9780521872966 (hbk. : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction: new critical formalism and identity in Americanist criticism -- Types of interest: Scottish theory, literary nationalism, and John Neal -- Sensing Hawthorne: the figure of Hawthorne's affect -- "Life is an ecstasy": Ralph Waldo Emerson and A. Bronson Alcott -- Laws of experience: truth and feeling in Harriet Beecher Stowe.
catalogue key
8363099
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 183-193) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-07-01:
With this volume, Davis (Williams College) makes an important contribution to new historicist perspectives in US literary studies. "New Americanist" critics, for example, such as Myra Jehlen and Donald Pease, tend to focus on the construction of the subject in an attempt to restore the issues of race, gender, and class overlooked in the older historicism. Davis challenges many of these positions by focusing on the formalist qualities of literature as a type of experience that helped to establish the basis for a national literature. Grounding her critical perspective in the new criticism of W. K. Wimsatt and the reader-response criticism of Steven Knapp, she locates an impersonal subjective experience historically in the 18th-century Scottish "common sense" aesthetic philosophies of Lord Kames and Archibald Alison. Davis presents compelling readings of John Neal's novel Rachel Dyer (1828) and his essays written for Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (1924-25) and eventually published in American Writers (1937) and of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson. This theoretical yet lucid study offers possibilities of re-thinking American literature as it was formed in the emerging nationalism of the first part of the 19th century. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. R. T. Prus Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Reviews
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Choice, July 2008
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
Theo Davis offers a fresh account of the emergence of a national literature in the United States. She analyses how American authors' prose seeks to create an art of abstract experience and reconsiders the place of form in literary studies today.
Description for Bookstore
Theo Davis offers a new account of the emergence of a national literature in the United States. She analyzes how American authors' prose seeks to create an art of abstract experience and reconsiders the place of form in literary studies today.
Main Description
Theo Davis offers a fresh account of the emergence of a national literature in the United States. Taking American literature's universalism as an organising force that must be explained rather than simply exposed, she contends that Emerson, Hawthorne, and Stowe's often noted investigations of experience are actually based in a belief that experience is an abstract category governed by typicality, not the property of the individual subject. Additionally, these authors locate the form of the literary work in the domain of abstract experience, projected out of - not embodied in - the text. After tracing the emergence of these beliefs out of Scottish common sense philosophy and through early American literary criticism, Davis analyses how American authors' prose seeks to work an art of abstract experience. In so doing, she reconsiders the place of form in modern literary studies.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Theo Davis offers an account of the emergence of a national literature in the United States. She contends that Emerson, Hawthorne and Stowe's noted investigations of experience are actually based in a belief that experience is an abstract category goverened by typicality, not the property of the individual subject.
Main Description
Theo Davis offers a new account of the emergence of a national literature in the United States. Taking American literature's universalism as an organizing force that must be explained rather than simply exposed, she contends that Emerson, Hawthorne, and Stowe's often noted investigations of experience are actually based in a belief that experience is an abstract category governed by typicality, not the property of the individual subject. Additionally, these authors locate the form of the literary work in the domain of abstract experience, projected out of - not embodied in - the text. After tracing the emergence of these beliefs out of Scottish common sense philosophy and through early American literary criticism, Davis analyzes how American authors' prose seeks to work an art of abstract experience. In so doing, she reconsiders the place of form in literary studies today.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vi
Introduction: New Critical formalism and identity in Americanist criticismp. 1
Types of interest: Scottish theory, literary nationalism, and John Nealp. 30
Sensing Hawthorne: the figure of Hawthorne's affectp. 74
"Life is an ecstasy": Ralph Waldo Emerson and A. Bronson Alcottp. 109
Laws of experience: truth and feeling in Harriet Beecher Stowep. 138
Notesp. 164
Bibliographyp. 183
Indexp. 194
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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