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By Malcolm Bradbury, Richard Ruland

From a Modernist/Postmodernist viewpoint, this name addresses questions of literary and cultural nationalism. The authors display that because the 17th century, American writing has mirrored the political and old weather of its time and helped outline America's cultural and social parameters. chiefly, they argue that American literature has continually been primarily 'modern', illustrating this with a large variety of texts: from Poe and Melville to Fitzgerald and Proud, to Wallace and Stevens, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Thomas Pynchon.

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Extra info for From Puritanism to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature

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Yet this intense British Protestant spirit had its own metaphysical and allegorical resources that marked early Puritan writing and later American literature. r. linking humankind to divine truth and limited the larger play The Puritan Legaqt T9 of the imagination but never totally denied it. Puritans considered many of the literary questions we still ask today; they answered them differently. Just as for the RenaissancePlatonist the world's maffer came to life as a reflection of pure idea, so for the Puritan, word and world alike were a shadowing forth of divine things, coherent systems of ffanscendent meaning.

Ito"i. al\y,the snare of Satan that Bradford perceives meeting ing men from their appointed path is exactly their success-in in th. challenges of a-dangerous nature and a hostile environment, symbolic dealing with the Indianr,ln developing an economy. rs develop adequate profitable and and finally, -ith the sefflement of MassachusettsBuy, a rapidly expanding market for their surplus. it, as If Bradford', purr-journal, part-history has a climax, this is scorn: his tone turns toward irony and corn and cattle rose to a greatprice, by which many were much enriched and commoditiesgrew plentiful.

Awakeningand Enlightenment. , . Another Frenchman,J, Hector St. Jean de Crdvecoeur'who camesteepedin the idealsof Rousseau,expressed them in his Lettersfrom an AmericanFarmer(1782),a powerf,rl demonstrationof how a neurnature and a new socialorder might generate a neu/kind of man and closethe greatcircle of civil izationon American soil. fn Jefferson'spostRevolutionarytimes, Crdvecoeur'srural metaphysicbecame a vision of an ideal classicalpolity where the new free farmer and new libertarian institutions found expressionin an exuaordinary and openfrontiered landscupe, there to administer, according to the highest eighteenth-century ideas,the heroic pastoralof the New \World.

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