Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Culture of Conversation by Peter GibianOliver Wendell Holmes and the Culture of Conversation by Peter Gibian

Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Culture of Conversation

byPeter Gibian

Paperback | April 2, 2009

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Peter Gibian explores the key role played by Oliver Wendell Holmes, senior, in what was known as America's "Age of Conversation". Holmes' multivoiced writings can serve as a key to open up the closed interiors of Victorian America, whether in saloons or salons, parlors or clubs, hotels or boarding houses. Combining social, intellectual, medical, legal and literary history with close textual analysis, and setting Holmes in dialoge with Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Fuller and Alcott, Gibian radically redefines the context for our understanding of the major literary works of the American Renaissance.
Title:Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Culture of ConversationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:412 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 0.91 inPublished:April 2, 2009Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521106125

ISBN - 13:9780521106122


Table of Contents

Part I. Opening the Conversation: 1. The conversation of a culture: strange powers of speech; Part II. Holmes in the Conversation of his Culture: 2. 'To change the order of conversation'; 3. 'Collisions of discourse' I: the electrodynamics of conversation; 4. 'Collisions of discourse' II: electric and oceanic currents of conversation; 5. A conversational approach to truth: the doctor in dialogue with contemporary truth-sayers; 6. Conversation and 'therapeutic nihilism': the doctor in dialogue with contemporary medicine; 7. The self in conversation: the doctor in dialogue with contemporary psychology; Part III. The Two Poles of Conversation: 8. The bipolar dynamics of Holmes' household dialogues: levity and gravity; 9. Holmes' house divided: house-keeping and house-breaking; 10. 'Cutting off the communication': fixations and falls for the walled-in self: Holmes in dialogue with Sterne, Dickens, and Melville; 11. Breaking the house of romance: Holmes in dialogue with Hawthorne; Part IV. Closing the Conversation: 12. Conclusions: Holmes Senior in dialogue with Holmes Junior.

Editorial Reviews

"They are 'dazzling' in the breadth of their allusions and striking in their wit and verbal originality. [It] is a rich book ... extensive in its courage and often penetrating in its analysis of a forgotten figure. If it sends new readers to Holmes's trilogy, one of the hidden treasures of American writing, then it will truly have done a service." Nineteenth Century Literature