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The complicity of imagination : the American renaissance, contests of authority, and seventeenth-century English culture

Author: Robin Grey
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Series: Cambridge studies in American literature and culture, 106.
Edition/Format:   eBook : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Complicity of Imagination examines the rich and complex relationship between four nineteenth-century authors and the culture and politics of seventeenth-century England. Challenging the notion that antebellum Americans were burdened by a sense of cultural inferiority in both their thought and their writing, this study portrays an American Renaissance whose writers were familiar enough with the literature and
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Grey, Robin (Robin Sandra).
Complicity of imagination.
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1997
(DLC) 96002284
(OCoLC)34191979
Named Person: Margaret Fuller; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Henry David Thoreau; Herman Melville
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Robin Grey
ISBN: 0511003730 9780511003738
OCLC Number: 47010870
Description: 1 online resource (viii, 294 p.)
Contents: Introduction: Antebellum America and the culture of seventeenth-century England --
Cultural predicaments and authorial responses --
"A seraph's eloquence": Emerson's inspired language and Milton's apocalyptic prose --
Margaret Fuller's "The Two Herberts," Emerson, and the disavowal of sequestered virtue --
"As if a green bough were laid across the page": Thoreau's seventeenth-century landscapes and extravagant personae --
Melville's Mardi and Moby-Dick, marvelous travel narratives, and seventeenth-century methods of inquiry --
Surmising the infidel: Melville reads Milton.
Series Title: Cambridge studies in American literature and culture, 106.
Responsibility: Robin Grey.

Abstract:

The Complicity of Imagination examines the rich and complex relationship between four nineteenth-century authors and the culture and politics of seventeenth-century England. Challenging the notion that antebellum Americans were burdened by a sense of cultural inferiority in both their thought and their writing, this study portrays an American Renaissance whose writers were familiar enough with the literature and controversies of seventeenth-century England to appropriate its cultural artifacts for their own purposes.

American writers such as Emerson, Fuller, Thoreau, and Melville consciously absorbed literary, philosophical, and political strategies from their reading in the earlier period in order to interrogate the orthodoxies of American Whigs, as well as the agenda of the radical Democratic 'Young Americans.' By exploring the broader cultural implications of intertextual relationships, this book demonstrates how literary texts participate in the artistic, political, and theological tensions within American culture.

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