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ENG 611: American National Literature
The development of the American novel in the decades following the Civil War as the nation reconstructed and redefined itself as an American empire through western expansion, colonization in the Pacific, European immigration, and progressive era reforms.
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American Literature Resources
*Highly Recommended Resources
The following resource is accessible through the HathiTrust Digital Library.
The following resources are accessible through GALILEO. Off-campus users must log in through OpenAthens.
American Literary Realism, Critical Theory, and Intellectual Prestige, 1880–1995
Focusing on key works of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literary realism, Phillip Barrish traces the emergence of new ways of gaining intellectual prestige--that is, new ways of gaining cultural recognition as unusually intelligent, sensitive or even wise. Through extended readings of works by Henry James, William Dean Howells, Abraham Cahan and Edith Wharton, Barrish emphasises the differences between literary realist modes of intellectual and cultural authority and those associated with the rise of the social sciences.
*The Cambridge Introduction to American Literary Realism
Emphasizing realism's historical context, this introduction traces the genre's relationship with powerful, often violent, social conflicts involving race, gender, class and national origin. It also examines how the realist style was created; the necessarily ambiguous relationship between realism produced on the page and reality outside the book; and the different, often contradictory, forms "realism" took in literary works by different authors.
The Cambridge Introduction to The Nineteenth-Century American Novel
Gregg Crane tells the story of the American novel from its beginnings in the early republic to the end of the nineteenth century. Treating the famous and many less well-known works, Crane discusses the genre's major figures, themes and developments. He analyses the different types of American fiction--romance, sentimental fiction, and the realist novel--in detail, while the historical context is explained in relation to how novelists explored the changing world around them.
Documents of American Realism and Naturalism
Through introductions to each of the three sections, Pizer provides background, delineating the underlying issues motivating attempts to attack, defend, or describe American realism and naturalism. In particular, Pizer attempts to reveal the close ties between criticism of the two movements and significant cultural concerns of the period in which the criticism appeared.
Haunting Realities: Naturalist Gothic and American Realism
Haunting Realities: Naturalist Gothic and American Realism is an innovative collection of essays examining the sometimes paradoxical alignment of Realism and Naturalism with the Gothic in American literature to highlight their shared qualities.
The Oxford History of the Novel in English: The American Novel 1870-1940
Contributors discuss the professionalization of literary production after the Civil War alongside legal and political debates over segregation and citizenship; while chapters on journalism, geography, religion, and immigration offer discussions on everything from the lasting role of literary realism in American fiction to the Spanish-American War's effect on developing theories of aesthetics and popular culture.
Realism and Naturalism in Nineteenth-century American Literature
The book contains definitions of realism and naturalism based on representative novels of the period ranging from Howells’ Rise of Silas Lapham to Crane’s Red Badge of Courage; analyses of the literary criticism of the age, stressing that of Howells, Garland, and Norris; and close readings of specific works by major figures of the period.
The Vast and Terrible Drama: American Literary Naturalism in the Late Nineteenth Century
Themes addressed include the traditionally close connection between French naturalism and American literary naturalism; relationships between the movement and the romance tradition in American literature, as well as with utopian fictions of the 19th century; narrative strategies employed by the key writers; the dominant naturalist theme of determinism; and textual readings that provide broad examples of the role of the reader.