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9780226293967

American Romanticism and the Marketplace

American Romanticism and the Marketplace
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  • ISBN-13: 9780226293967
  • ISBN: 0226293963
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press

AUTHOR

Gilmore, Michael T.

SUMMARY

"This book can take its place on the shelf beside Henry Nash Smith'sVirgin Landand Leo Marx'sThe Machine in the Garden."Choice "[Gilmore] demonstrates the profound, sustained,engagementwith society embodied in the works of Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau and Melville. In effect, he relocates the American Renaissance where it properly belongs, at the centre of a broad social, economic, and ideological movement from the Jacksonian era to the Civil War. Basically, Gilmore's argument concerns the writers' participation in what Thoreau called 'the curse of trade.' He details their mixed resistance to and complicity in the burgeoning literary marketplace and, by extension, the entire ' economic revolution' which between 1830 and 1860 'transformed the United States into a market society'. . . . "The result is a model of literary-historical revisionism. Gilmore's opening chapters on Emerson and Thoreau show that 'transcendental' thought and language can come fully alive when understood within the material processes and ideological constraints of their time. . . . The remaining five chapters, on Hawthorne and Melville, contain some of the most penetrating recent commentaries on the aesthetic strategies of American Romantic fiction, presented withinand throughsome of the most astute, thoughtful considerations I know of commodification and the 'democratic public' in mid-nineteenth-century America. . . . Practically and methodologically,American Romanticism and the Marketplacehas a significant place in the movement towards a new American literary history. It places Gilmore at the forefront of a new generation of critics who are not just reinterpreting familiar texts or discovering new texts to interpret, but reshaping our ways of thinking about literature and culture."Sacvan Bercovitch,Times Literary Supplement"Gilmore writes with energy, clarity, and wit. The reader is enriched by this book." William H. Shurr,American LiteratureGilmore, Michael T. is the author of 'American Romanticism and the Marketplace' with ISBN 9780226293967 and ISBN 0226293963.

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