- Truth's Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel
- [Review of] Truth's Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel () by Philip F. Gura - edoc
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His biographies also indicate how often plots were taken from the actual experiences of the authors or real-life events that were newsworthy at the time. In turn, their work had a strong influence on the direction of the American novel. With quite detailed plot summaries and analysis, Professor Gura describes the impact of writers such as Catharine Sedgwick, Susan Warner, Mary Nichols, Alice Cary, and a number of others men included.
It can occasionally be a little tough going for someone not familiar with Emerson, Whitman and other writers of the period who were not primarily novelists as there is some assumed knowledge here but, for the most part, this book is interesting and moves quite well. The highest compliment that can be paid to a book like this is that it encourages the reader to delve into other books, and Gura certainly achieves that. His descriptions of many of these 19th century novels are very appealing. It may be hard to credit how influential some of these novels actually were since so many of them seem so very forgotten, but Professor Gura does make the reader consider whether or not the judgment of history might sometimes be a bit hasty.
It is a worthwhile endeavor. Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.
Truth's Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel
First of all, I think most semi-serious readers will recognize names like Hawthorne, Cooper, Stowe, Melville, and many others but this rather pedantic book introduces a plethora of authors who have made outstanding contributions to American literature. I doubt that many have never heard of these individuals. I hadn't but the absorbing descriptions of their compositions over two centuries convinced me of a long-harbored suspicion: Our behavior, confusion, and debate about topics like sex, infidelity, race, equality on all planes or the lack of it, morality, metaphysical considerations, ad infinitum ain't changed much in the last two or three hundred years.
Too it will be interesting to some how many of these authors were 1 motivated to write what they did; 2 were women and minorities; and 3 were every bit as popular in their day as those named above. As a retired professor of American Lit. I regret that this scholarly study of popular but unsung, non-canonical novels was not available in my time. Gura's thematic study of novels which were occasionally mentioned by commentators on the great ones Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and James , shows how the sentimental novels by women and some ungainly ones by men fit in with the ones that are regularly taught in college courses.
The culture's demands for order, its dominant moral code, suppressed individuality. Some authors sympathized with and approved of that suppression, and some approved of individual defiance; most are ambivalent. Gura has done us a service by reexamining the now unread authors.
[Review of] Truth's Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel () by Philip F. Gura - edoc
Gura's review of a certain era of so-called fiction writing most are portrayals of actual events is very revealing. It shows that many of the themes of current novels where explored in the 18th and 19th centuries. From novels about seduction to personality disorders. Quotes from some of these novels will astound you. Written with no attempt to reach his readers. Gura is bright, but writes for himself. Book needed a much better editor.
And how marketing and design could have used this attractive jacket design without making the book deckled front edge is beyond me. Good title but very little of interest for the jacket to wrap around. Format: Paperback. A detailed look at the rise and development of the American novel from through the s.
This book explores the input that religion had on the art, including those writers usually ignored, women and persons of color. From the early novels that sought to teach life lessons to a gradual widening of the religious beliefs and mores of the time, we see how the freedoms of the country began to affect the literature of the day.
This was a book received from Goodreads giveaways and I couldn't be happier to have received this one. The content is easy to digest, yet extremely informative. You're introduced to writers and books that fell by the wayside over the years, yet were popular at the time of their publication. If you have an interest in early American literature or how a change in the beliefs of the people can affect the novels they read, this is the book for you.
One person found this helpful. See all 7 reviews. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Born and raised on a farm near Cincinnati, Cary escaped to New York with her sister, where the two women supported themselves in a boarding house on income from their writing. Hagar opens with an affair between a rural girl and her minister. When the heroine becomes pregnant and delivers a son, the minister steals the child and abandons her.
Years later, Hagar meets her minister-lover once again and, while searching his desk, discovers, to her horror, the skeleton-corpse of her baby in a drawer, enclosed in a tiny casket.
Nichols and her husband left Modern Times after a disagreement with its leader over the question of open marriage Nichols and her husband insisted upon it. They then embarked upon a career in spiritualism together, channeling spirits from beyond the grave before converting, finally, to Roman Catholicism. Pro-labor and anti-corporate, Lippard openly claimed the revolutionary mantle of the Christ.
For Gura, the rise of a liberal consciousness in the United States was defined, above all, by its struggle with Christianity. The Cold War liberal consensus that identified literary history with coming to consciousness has been breaking down for a long time, and especially in recent decades. This is not simply because historically disenfranchised groups African-American, Indigenous, female, queer, non-English-speaking demanded representation in national literary canons and access to the liberal arts. Instead, with the rise of global information economies, a new model of the embodied mind has become the norm, and consciousness has been redefined as distributed cognition and global connectivity.
Nevertheless, literary studies in the United States still serves, paradoxically, as a safe house of sorts, for the angry or disoriented children of the American bourgeoisie. And it is still possible to imagine that certain complexities of consciousness will elude the neo-industrial management techniques that frame them, even as consciousness itself is under liquidation. Sacvan Bercovitch Cambridge University Press, , Have one to sell?
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Item specifics Condition: Acceptable: A book with obvious wear. May have some damage to the cover but integrity still intact. The binding may be slightly damaged but integrity is still intact.
Possible writing in margins, possible underlining and highlighting of text, but no missing pages or anything that would compromise the legibility or understanding of the text. See all condition definitions - opens in a new window or tab Read more about the condition. About this product. Gura opens with the first truly homegrown genre of fiction: religious tracts, short parables intended to instruct the Christian reader.
He then turns to the city novels of the s, which depicted with mixed feelings the rapid growth and modernization of American society. He concludes with fresh interpretations of the introspective novels that appeared before the Civil War, such as those by Hawthorne and by Melville, from whom Gura takes his title. The grand narrative sweep of the book is balanced by Gura's great insight that the early novel never fully left its origins behind, even as it evolved--it remained a means of theological and philosophical dispute, and reflected the oldest and deepest divisions in American Christianity, politics, and culture.