Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville

Paperback | July 15, 2011

byDavid S. Reynolds

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The award-winning Beneath the American Renaissance is a classic work on American literature. It immeasurably broadens our knowledge of our most important literary period, as first identified by F.O. Matthiessen's American Renaissance. With its combination of sharp critical insight, engagingobservation, and narrative drive, it represents the kind of masterful cultural history for which David Reynolds is known. Here the major works of Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and Dickinson receive striking, original readings set against the rich backdrop of contemporary popular writing. Now back in print, the volume includes a new foreword by historian Sean Wilentz that reveals the book's impactand influence. A magisterial work of criticism and cultural history, Beneath the American Renaissance will fascinate anyone interested in the genesis of America's most significant literary epoch and the iconic figures who defined it.

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The award-winning Beneath the American Renaissance is a classic work on American literature. It immeasurably broadens our knowledge of our most important literary period, as first identified by F.O. Matthiessen's American Renaissance. With its combination of sharp critical insight, engagingobservation, and narrative drive, it represent...

David S. Reynolds is a Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His books include Walt Whitman's America, Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson, John Brown, Abolitionist, and Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:656 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 1.61 inPublished:July 15, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199782849

ISBN - 13:9780199782840

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I God's Bow, Man's Arrows: Religion, Reform, and American Literature1. The New Religious Style2. The Reform Impulse and the Paradox of Immoral Didacticism3. The Transcendentalists, Whitman, and Popular Reform4. Hawthorne and the Reform Impulse5. Melville's Whited SepulchresPart II: Public Poison: Sensationalism and Sexuality6. The Sensational Press and the Rise of Subversive Literature7. The Erotic Imagination8. Poe and Popular Irrationalism9. Hawthorne's Cultural Demons10. Melville's Ruthless Democracy11. Whitman's Transfigured SensationalismPart III: Other Amazons: Women's Rights, Women's Wrongs, and the Literary Imagination12. Types of American Womanhood13. Hawthorne's Heroines14. The American Women's Renaissance and Emily DickinsonPart IV The Grotesque Posture Popular Humor and the American Subversive Style15. The Carnivalization of American Language16. Transcendental Wild Oats17. Whitman's Poetic Humor18. Stylized Laugher in Poe, Hawthorne, and MelvilleEpilogue Reconstructive Criticism: Literary Theory and Literary HistoryNotesIndex