Romanticism in American Literature.
R o m a n t i c i s m
- associated with imagination and boundlessness x classicism
- demands a greater personal freedom for the individual, and spontaneity in thought and action
- struggles against conventions
- emphasises natural relig., and an immediate relationship btw man x God
C o n c e r n :
- nature and the natural, the primitive and uncivilised way of life
- scenery, esp. its more untamed and disorderly manifestations
- human moods associated with the ‘moods’ of nature
- natural genius and the power of the imagination
- the cult of the Noble Savage
- preocc. with death, decay, ruins, and graveyards
=> melancholy, reflectivness, and sentimentality
R o m a n c e :
- usually non-didactic narratives of ideal love and chivalric adventures
- conc. with an avowedly fictive world
- a counterpart to a novel
- N. Hawthorne: the essential difference btw the 2 lies in the imaginative freedom granted to the writer of a romance enabling him to pursue psychological and mythical truth more single-mindedly
N o v e l :
- the name: from the Ita. ‘tale’ or ‘a piece of news’
- an extended piece of prose fiction containing characters, action, incident, and perhaps a plot
- gives to the imaginary the formal guarantee of the real
A m e r i c a n R o m a n t i c i s m
- the most clearly defined Romantic lit. movement in US = the Concord Transcendentalism
S e n t i m e n t a l N o v e l :
- William Hill Brown’s Power of Sympathy (1789)
- Susanna Rowson’s Charlotte Temple and A Tale of Truth (1791 GB, 1794 US)
- Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book (1819 – 20)
P i c a r e s q u e N o v e l :
- H. H. Brackenridge’s The Modern Chivalry (1792 – 1815)
G o t h i c R o m a n c e :
< W. Godwin's Caleb Williams
- C. B. Brown’s Wieland (1798), Ormond (1799), and Edgar Huntly (1799)
L o c a l H i s t o r y a n d L e g e n d :
- W. Irving’s History of New York by Diedrich Knickerbocker (1809), The Sketch Book (1819 – 20), and A Tour on the Prairies (1835)
- N. Hawthorne
H i s t o r i c a l R o m a n c e :
< W. Scott and M. Edgeworth
< Ind. Captivity Narratives
- J. F. Cooper
R o m a n t i c F e a t u r e s :
- celebration of natural beauty and simple life: J. F. Cooper, R. W. Emerson, and H. D. Thoreau
- idealisation of the common man uncorrupted by civilisation: J. G. Whittier and J. F. Cooper
- primitivism and cult of the Noble Savage: H. W. Longfellow’s Hiawatha
- conc. with remote places: H. Melville
- medievalism: H. W. Longfellow
- pop. ballad revival: H. W. Longfellow and J. G. Whittier
- introspection: E. A. Poe and H. D. Thoreau
- morbid melancholy: E. A. Poe
- mystery: E. A. Poe
- individualism: R. W. Emerson, H. D. Thoreau, and W. Whitman
- technical innovation: W. Whitman’s prosody
- political liberalism: T. Jefferson and T. Paine
- humanitarianism: H. B. Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.
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.
Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1994.
McQuade, Donald, gen.ed. The Harper American Literature. New York: Harper & Collins, 1996.
Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.
Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.