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Reading the American Novel 1865-1914

Reading the American Novel 1865-1914

G. R. Thompson

ISBN: 978-0-631-23406-7

Oct 2011

462 pages

In Stock

$51.95

Description

An indispensable tool for teachers and students of American literature, Reading the American Novel 1865-1914 provides a comprehensive introduction to the American novel in the post-civil war period.
  • Locates American novels and stories within a specific historical and literary context
  • Offers fresh analyses of key selected literary works
  • Addresses a wide audience of academics and non-academics in clear, accessible prose
  • Demonstrates the changing mentality of 19th-century America entering the 20th century
  • Explores the relationship between the intellectual and artistic output of the time and the turbulent socio-political context
Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

1 Toward the “Great American Novel”: Romance and Romanticism in the Age of Realism 9

2 Of Realism and Reality: Definitions and Contexts 25

3 Dramas of the Broken Teacup: American “Quiet” Realism 41

4 The Nature of Naturalism: Definitions and Backgrounds 55

5 Implacable Nature, Household Tragedy, and Epic Romance 73

6 Frank Norris: The Beast Within 91

7 The Rocking Horse Winners: Theodore Dreiser and Urban Naturalism 109

8 Subjective Realism: Stephen Crane’s Impressionist Fictions 125

9 Impressions of War: The Interior Battlefield 141

10 Sense and Sensibility: Sentimental Domesticity and “New Woman’s Fiction” 157

11 Domestic Feminism: The Problematic Louisa May Alcott 179

12 “All the Happy Endings”: Marriage, Insanity, and Suicide 195

13 Vulgarians at the Gate: Edith Wharton and the Collapse of Gentility 215

14 Tea-Table as Jungle: Henry James and “The Psychopathology of Everyday Life” 235

15 Economies of Pain: W. D. Howells 261

16 The “Gilded Age”: Genteel Critics and Militant Muckrakers 283

17 What Is An American? Regionalism and Race 299

18 The Territory Ahead: Emerging African American Voices 323

19 The “Dream of a Republic”: War, Reconstruction, and Future History 343

20 At the Modernist Margin: Mark Twain 367

Bibliographical Resources 387

Index 421

 

• Locates American novels and stories within a specific historical and literary context
• Offers fresh analyses of key selected literary works
• Addresses a wide audience of academics and non-academics in clear, accessible prose