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The Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville is intended to provide a critical introduction to Melville's work. The essays have been specially commissioned for this volume, and provide a comprehensive overview of Melville's career. All of Melville's novels are discussed, as well as most of his poetry and short fiction. Written at a level both challenging and accessible, the volume provides fresh perspectives on an American author whose work continues to fascinate readers and stimulate new study.
A Companion to American Literary Studies addresses the most provocative questions, subjects, and issues animating the field. Essays provide readers with the knowledge and conceptual tools for understanding American literary studies as it is practiced today, and chart new directions for the future of the subject.Offers up-to-date accounts of major new critical approaches to American literary studies Presents state-of-the-art essays on a full range of topics central to the fieldEssays explore critical and institutional genealogies of the field, increasingly diverse conceptions of American literary study, and unprecedented material changes such as the digital revolution A unique anthology in the field, and an essential resource for libraries, faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates
American literary nationalism is traditionally understood as a cohesive literary tradition developed in the newly independent United States that emphasized the unique features of America and consciously differentiated American literature from British literature. Robert S. Levine challenges this assessment by exploring the conflicted, multiracial, and contingent dimensions present in the works of late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American and African American writers. Conflict and uncertainty, not consensus, Levine argues, helped define American literary nationalism during this period. Levine emphasizes the centrality of both inter- and intra-American conflict in his analysis of four illuminating "episodes" of literary responses to questions of U.S. racial nationalism and imperialism. He examines Charles Brockden Brown and the Louisiana Purchase; David Walker and the debates on the Missouri Compromise; Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Hannah Crafts and the blood-based literary nationalism and expansionism of the mid-nineteenth century; and Frederick Douglass and his approximately forty-year interest in Haiti. Levine offers critiques of recent developments in whiteness and imperialism studies, arguing that a renewed attention to the place of contingency in American literary history helps us to better understand and learn from writers trying to make sense of their own historical moments.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's second antislavery novel was written partly in response to the criticisms of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) by both white Southerners and black abolitionists. In Dred (1856), Stowe attempts to explore the issue of slavery from an African American perspective. Through the compelling stories of Nina Gordon, the mistress of a slave plantation, and Dred, a black revolutionary, Stowe brings to life conflicting beliefs about race, the institution of slavery, and the possibilities of violent resistance. Probing the political and spiritual goals that fuel Dred's rebellion, Stowe creates a figure far different from the acquiescent Christian martyr Uncle Tom. In his introduction to the novel, Robert S. Levine outlines the contemporary antislavery debates in which Stowe had become deeply involved before and during her writing of Dred. In addition to its significance in literary history, the novel remains relevant, Levine argues, to present discussions of cross-racial perspectives.
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) and Herman Melville (1819-1891) addressed in their writings a range of issues that continue to resonate in American culture: the reach and limits of democracy; the nature of freedom; the roles of race, gender, and sexuality; and the place of the United States in the world. Yet they are rarely discussed together, perhaps because of their differences in race and social position. Douglass escaped from slavery and tied his well-received nonfiction writing to political activism, becoming a figure of international prominence. Melville was the grandson of Revolutionary War heroes and addressed urgent issues through fiction and poetry, laboring in increasing obscurity.In eighteen original essays, the contributors to this collection explore the convergences and divergences of these two extraordinary literary lives. Developing new perspectives on literature, biography, race, gender, and politics, this volume ultimately raises questions that help rewrite the color line in nineteenth-century studies.Contributors:Elizabeth Barnes, College of William and MaryHester Blum, The Pennsylvania State UniversityRuss Castronovo, University of Wisconsin-MadisonJohn Ernest, West Virginia UniversityWilliam Gleason, Princeton UniversityGregory Jay, University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeCarolyn L. Karcher, Washington, D.C.Rodrigo Lazo, University of California, IrvineMaurice S. Lee, Boston UniversityRobert S. Levine, University of Maryland, College ParkSteven Mailloux, University of California, IrvineDana D. Nelson, Vanderbilt UniversitySamuel Otter, University of California, BerkeleyJohn Stauffer, Harvard UniversitySterling Stuckey, University of California, RiversideEric J. Sundquist, University of California, Los AngelesElisa Tamarkin, University of California, IrvineSusan M. Ryan, University of LouisvilleDavid Van Leer, University of California, DavisMaurice Wallace, Duke UniversityRobert K. Wallace, Northern Kentucky UniversityKenneth W. Warren, University of ChicagoThe contributors are Elizabeth Barnes, Hester Blum, Russ Castronovo, John Ernest, William Gleason, Gregory Jay, Carolyn L. Karcher, Rodrigo Lazo, Maurice S. Lee, Robert S. Levine, Steven Mailloux, Dana D. Nelson, Samuel Otter, John Stauffer, Sterling Stuckey, Eric J. Sundquist, Elisa Tamarkin, Susan M. Ryan, David Van Leer, Maurice Wallace, Robert K. Wallace, and Kenneth W. Warren. The editors are Robert S. Levine and Samuel Otter.-->
Biography of a soldier in the American Revolution. Melville explains, "Biography, in its purer form, confined to the ended lives of the true and brave, may be held the fairest meed of human virtue--one given and received in entire disinterestedness--since neither can the biographer hope for acknowledgment from the subject, nor the subject at all avail himself of the biographical distinction conferred. Israel Potter well merits the present tribute--a private of Bunker Hill, who for his faithful services was years ago promoted to a still deeper privacy under the ground, with a posthumous pension, in default of any during life, annually paid him by the spring in ever-new mosses and sward. " According to Wikipedia: "Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 - September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist and poet. His first two books gained much attention, though they were not bestsellers, and his popularity declined precipitously after only a few years. By the time of his death he had been almost completely forgotten, but his longest novel, Moby-Dick - largely considered a failure during his lifetime, and most responsible for Melville's fall from favor with the reading public - was recognized in the 20th century as one of the chief literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. "
The differences between Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany have historically been reduced to a simple binary pronouncement: assimilationist versus separatist. Now Robert S. Levine restores the relationship of these two important nineteenth-century African American writers to its original complexity. He explores their debates over issues like abolitionism, emigration, and nationalism, illuminating each man's influence on the other's political vision. He also examines Delany and Douglass's debates in relation to their own writings and to the work of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Though each saw himself as the single best representative of his race, Douglass has been accorded that role by history--while Delany, according to Levine, has suffered a fate typical of the black separatist: marginalization. In restoring Delany to his place in literary and cultural history, Levine makes possible a fuller understanding of the politics of antebellum African American leadership.
Martin R. Delany (1812-85) has been called the "Father of Black Nationalism," but his extraordinary career also encompassed the roles of abolitionist, physician, editor, explorer, politician, army officer, novelist, and political theorist. Despite his enormous influence in the nineteenth century, and his continuing influence on black nationalist thought in the twentieth century, Delany has remained a relatively obscure figure in U.S. culture, generally portrayed as a radical separatist at odds with the more integrationist Frederick Douglass. This pioneering documentary collection offers readers a chance to discover, or rediscover, Delany in all his complexity. Through nearly 100 documents--approximately two-thirds of which have not been reprinted since their initial nineteenth-century publications--it traces the full sweep of his fascinating career. Included are selections from Delany's early journalism, his emigrationist writings of the 1850s, his 1859-62 novel, Blake (one of the first African American novels published in the United States), and his later writings on Reconstruction. Incisive and shrewd, angry and witty, Delany's words influenced key nineteenth-century debates on race and nation, addressing issues that remain pressing in our own time.
The New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville provides timely, critical essays on Melville's classic works. The essays have been specially commissioned for this volume and provide a complete overview of Melville's career. Melville's major novels are discussed, along with a range of his short fiction and poetry, including neglected works ripe for rediscovery. The volume includes essays on such new topics as Melville and oceanic studies, Melville and animal studies, and Melville and the planetary, along with a number of essays that focus on form and aesthetics. Written at a level both challenging and accessible, this New Companion brings together a team of leading international scholars to offer students of American literature the most comprehensive introduction available to Melville's art.
The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Eighth Edition, features a diverse and balanced variety of works and thorough but judicious editorial apparatus throughout.
The Eighth Edition features a diverse and balanced variety of works and thorough but judicious editorial apparatus throughout. The new edition also includes more complete works, much-requested new authors, 170 in-text images, new and re-thought contextual clusters, and other tools that help instructors teach the course they want to teach.
In this comprehensive volume of the collected writings of James Monroe Whitfield (1822-71), Robert S. Levine and Ivy G. Wilson restore this African American poet, abolitionist, and intellectual to his rightful place in the arts and politics of the nineteenth-century United States. Whitfield's works, including poems from his celebratedAmerica and Other Poems(1853), were printed in influential journals and newspapers, such as Frederick Douglass'sThe North Star. A champion of the black emigration movement during the 1850s, Whitfield was embraced by African Americans as a black nationalist bard when he moved from his longtime home in Buffalo, New York, to California in the early 1860s. However, by the beginning of the twentieth century, his reputation had faded. For this volume, Levine and Wilson gathered and annotated all of Whitfield's extant writings, both poetry and prose, and many pieces are reprinted here for the first time since their original publication. In their thorough introduction, the editors situate Whitfield in relation to key debates on black nationalism in African American culture, underscoring the importance of poetry and periodical culture to black writing during the period.
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