Download American Romanticism and the Marketplace by Michael T. Gilmore PDF

By Michael T. Gilmore

ISBN-10: 0226293955

ISBN-13: 9780226293950

''This e-book can take its position at the shelf beside Henry Nash Smith's Virgin Land and Leo Marx's The computing device within the backyard .''—Choice ''[Gilmore] demonstrates the profound, sustained, engagement with society embodied within the works of Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau and Melville. In impact, he relocates the yank Renaissance the place it thoroughly belongs, on the centre of a huge social, financial, and ideological circulate from the Jacksonian period to the Civil conflict. essentially, Gilmore's argument issues the writers' participation in what Thoreau known as 'the curse of trade.' He information their combined resistance to and complicity within the burgeoning literary market and, by way of extension, the complete ' monetary revolution' which among 1830 and 1860 'transformed the U.S. right into a marketplace society'. . . . ''The result's a version of literary-historical revisionism. Gilmore's starting chapters on Emerson and Thoreau convey that 'transcendental' concept and language can come totally alive while understood in the fabric methods and ideological constraints in their time. . . . the remainder 5 chapters, on Hawthorne and Melville, comprise one of the most penetrating contemporary commentaries at the aesthetic suggestions of yank Romantic fiction, awarded inside of and during the most astute, considerate issues i do know of commodification and the 'democratic public' in mid-nineteenth-century the US. . . . virtually and methodologically, American Romanticism and undefined has an important position within the circulate in the direction of a brand new American literary historical past. It areas Gilmore on the leading edge of a brand new new release of critics who're not only reinterpreting everyday texts or studying new texts to interpret, yet reshaping our methods of wondering literature and culture.''—Sacvan Bercovitch, instances Literary complement ''Gilmore writes with power, readability, and wit. The reader is enriched via this book.'' William H. Shurr, American Literature

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For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only can we see. All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house. heaven and earth: Caesar called his house, Rome; you perhaps call yours, a cobler's trade; a hundred acres of ploughed land; or a scholar's garret. Yet, line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore, your own world. [CW 1 :4-4-45] The malleability of nature, of which the Orphic poet sings here, is a commonplace of Romantic thought.

To use farming as a trope for self-sufficiency without literally farming would be to perform in thought the same violation Flint commits on his land. Thoreau finds this commodified habit of mind to be the common practice of his contemporaries. "Our lives," he complains, "pass at such remoteness from its symbols, and its metaphors and tropes are so far fetched" (pp. 244-45). At Walden he redeems his own life from such distancing and loss of the real; he farms the land, as he says in "The Bean-Field," "for the sake of tropes and expression, to serve a parable-maker one day" (p.

Has a constant and imperishable moral, and to the scholar it yields a classic result" (p. " The centrality of this phrase to Thoreau's undertaking is suggested by its position at the very outset of the book; it appears in the opening sentence: "When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only" (p.

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