Cover: The Emergence of American Literary Narrative, 1820-1860, from Harvard University PressCover: The Emergence of American Literary Narrative, 1820-1860 in PAPERBACK

The Emergence of American Literary Narrative, 1820-1860

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$25.00 • £20.95 • €22.50

ISBN 9780674018693

Publication Date: 09/30/2005

Short

288 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

World

In the mid-nineteenth century writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville produced works of fiction that even today, centuries later, help to define what American literature means. In this work of innovative literary history, Jonathan Arac explains what made this remarkable creativity possible and what it accomplished. His work also delves into a deep paradox that has haunted American literature: our nation’s great works of literary narrative place themselves at a tense distance from our national life.

Arac prepares the way with substantial critical readings of masterpieces such as Moby-Dick, The Scarlet Letter, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and the Narrative of Frederick Douglass, as well as astute commentary on dozens of other works of fiction, comic sketches, life testimony, and history. His interpretation demonstrates how the national crisis over slavery around 1850 led writers to invent new forms. In light of this analysis, Arac proposes an explanation for the shifting relations between prose narratives and American political history; he shows how these new works changed the understanding of what prose narrative was capable of doing--and how this moment when the literary writer was redefined as an artist inaugurated a continuing crisis in the relation of narrative to its public.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, by Lindsay M. Chervinsky, from Harvard University Press

National Epidemics, Then and Now

Our current COVID-19 crisis isn’t the first time this nation has faced an epidemic. Lindsay M. Chervinsky, author of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, tells about the yellow fever outbreak that our country faced in its capital during its early years—and how our first president responded. American responses to the 1793 outbreak of yellow fever in Philadelphia and the 2020 COVID-

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.