New PDF release: American Romanticism and the Marketplace

By Michael T. Gilmore

ISBN-10: 0226293955

ISBN-13: 9780226293950

ISBN-10: 0226293963

ISBN-13: 9780226293967

''This booklet can take its position at the shelf beside Henry Nash Smith's Virgin Land and Leo Marx's The computer within the backyard .''—Choice ''[Gilmore] demonstrates the profound, sustained, engagement with society embodied within the works of Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau and Melville. In impression, he relocates the yank Renaissance the place it safely belongs, on the centre of a extensive social, monetary, and ideological stream from the Jacksonian period to the Civil warfare. primarily, Gilmore's argument issues the writers' participation in what Thoreau known as 'the curse of trade.' He info their combined resistance to and complicity within the burgeoning literary market and, through extension, the total ' fiscal revolution' which among 1830 and 1860 'transformed the USA right into a marketplace society'. . . . ''The result's a version of literary-historical revisionism. Gilmore's beginning chapters on Emerson and Thoreau convey that 'transcendental' suggestion and language can come totally alive while understood in the fabric approaches and ideological constraints in their time. . . . the remainder 5 chapters, on Hawthorne and Melville, comprise the most penetrating fresh commentaries at the aesthetic innovations of yank Romantic fiction, offered inside of and during the most astute, considerate issues i do know of commodification and the 'democratic public' in mid-nineteenth-century the United States. . . . essentially and methodologically, American Romanticism and undefined has an important position within the circulation in the direction of a brand new American literary background. It locations Gilmore on the vanguard of a brand new new release of critics who're not only reinterpreting usual texts or getting to know new texts to interpret, yet reshaping our methods of considering literature and culture.''—Sacvan Bercovitch, occasions Literary complement ''Gilmore writes with power, readability, and wit. The reader is enriched by way of this book.'' William H. Shurr, American Literature

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The text's denial of history, its flight from Jacksonian America, paradoxically resembles the commodified mode of thought which Thoreau charges against his countrymen and which permits a Flint to perceive his fruits and vegetables as dollars. In an analogous way, Thoreau allows the mythic value of his Walden experiment to displace the actual circumstances of its occurrence. Moreover, his determination to empty his adventure of historical content replicates a basic feature of reified consciousness.

Has a constant and imperishable moral, and to the scholar it yields a classic result" (p. " The centrality of this phrase to Thoreau's undertaking is suggested by its position at the very outset of the book; it appears in the opening sentence: "When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only" (p.

W 7 :1321 What deserves emphasis in this passage is the evaporation of the agrarian ethos as a viable social or economic faith. Twenty years earlier Emerson used husbandry as a metaphor for a kind of personal autonomy that seemed jeopardized by the growth of the market; he uses it here as a metaphor for withdrawal and recuperation from capitalist civilization. An escape rather than a critical vantage point, it has become irrelevant to a society based on money. If the vitality of the agrarian ideal, with its antimarket bias, does not survive in Emerson himself, however, it is carried on by his "disciple" Thoreau.

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American Romanticism and the Marketplace by Michael T. Gilmore


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