Download Cambridge History of American Literature, Vol. 3: Prose by Sacvan Bercovitch PDF

By Sacvan Bercovitch

Quantity three covers a pivotal period within the formation of yank identification in addition to an everlasting multi-faceted literary tradition within the usa. 4 major students attach the literature with the big expansive historic adjustments then underway. The narratives of Richard Brodhead, Nancy Bentley, Walter Benn Michaels and Susan L. Mizruchi represent a wealthy and specific account of yankee literature and tradition that started to embody a large spectrum of cultural outsiders in addition to excessive literature via William Dean Howells and Henry James.

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Extra resources for Cambridge History of American Literature, Vol. 3: Prose Writing, 1860-1920 (The Cambridge History of American Literature)

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The writing of these journals makes virtually no address to the dominant readers of cheap fiction. They contain no adventure-fiction for boys or young men; they have no interest in the farmer’s life; except in rare features on how that “other” half lives, they ignore the working classes; they speak to an audience decidedly native-born, not to immigrants. In their publication choices, these magazines do almost as little to court the audience of domestic writing. The work they publish is much more secular, much less attuned to the evangelical pieties of the midcentury middle class.

Not unrelatedly, it also presumes a higher degree of aesthetic cultivation. It posits an interest in high art and a cultural literacy in art appreciation not assumed elsewhere. It is easy to see how these criteria should have led the journals that adopted them to favor a more aesthetically oriented kind of writing in their selections. But the same values that identify their more literary criteria for writing also link them to a particular public: the newly modeled upper class that came together in the Northeast after 1850, distinguished from the working and middle classes just by such traits as its greater secularism, greater affluence, greater cultivation and attachment to culture, and correspondingly reduced investment in the home.

It was designed to cost and it was advertised as costing a price with a precise market meaning: a nickel or dime, not the dollar or more of contemporaneous hardbound volumes. It was also brought to the market of readers through its own distinctive means. Story-papers and dime novels were distributed through the network of newsdealers, mass-circulated with the most everyday of printed commodities. The different terms of this work’s cultural production did more than market it more widely. They established a different public as this work’s social audience.

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