Brown, Charles Brockden. (1771 - 1810).
L i f e
- considered the 1st professional American novelist
- to support himself became a merchant
- edited successively 3 periodicals, wrote political pamphlets, and projected a compendium on geography
W o r k
< influenced by William Godwin’s Caleb Williams > introduced gothic romances
- explores abnormal states of mind, paranormal phenomena, and questions the natural morality celebrated by his contemporaries
- builds his plots around particular motifs: sleepwalking, religious mania, etc.
- instead of superstitions, manners, Gothic castles, and chimeras, the American writer should draw on the incidents of Indian hostility, and the perils of western wilderness
> influenced Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allen Poe
Wieland; or, the Transformation (1798)
Ormond; or, the Secret Witness (1799)
Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker (1799)
"A woman capable of recollection in danger, of warding off groundless panics, of discerning the true mode of proceeding, and profiting by her best resources, is a prodigy".
From Wieland (1798).
(Picture: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorCharles Brockden Brown. (1771 - 1810). American.
WorkNovelist. The first American professional novelist.
Bercovitch, Sacvan, ed. The Cambridge History of American Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Cunliffe, Marcus. The Literature of the United States. London: Penguin, 1991.
Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.
Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.