By Leonard Tennenhouse
American literature is usually noticeable as whatever that encouraged its personal perception and that sprang into being as a cultural offshoot of America's hope for nationwide id. yet what of the enormous precedent demonstrated through English literature, which was once a huge American import among 1750 and 1850? within the value of Feeling English, Leonard Tennenhouse revisits the panorama of early American literature and substantially revises its good points. utilizing the idea that of transatlantic move, he indicates how a few of the first American authors--from poets equivalent to Timothy Dwight and Philip Freneau to novelists like William Hill Brown and Charles Brockden Brown--applied their newfound standpoint to pre-existing British literary versions. those American "re-writings" could in flip motivate local British authors corresponding to Jane Austen and Horace Walpole to re-examine their very own rules of topic, family, and country. the iconic nature of those literary exchanges dramatically recasts early American literature as a literature of diaspora, Tennenhouse argues--and what made the settlers' writings incredibly and indelibly American used to be accurately their insistence on reproducing Englishness, on making English identification moveable and adaptable. Written in an incisive and illuminating variety, the significance of Feeling English unearths the advanced roots of yank literature, and exhibits how its transatlantic flow aided and abetted the modernization of Anglophone tradition at huge.
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Additional resources for The Importance of Feeling English: American Literature and the British Diaspora, 1750-1850
It reﬂects on the material it has accumulated by way of the senses and considers how those sensations should be differentiated, arranged, assessed, and generalized. 4). Ideas received from this second source, or pure reﬂection, intermix with and often pass for sensations derived directly from the outside world, as when we see a globe of any uniform color and automatically know that it is not only red but also round. Locke’s lengthy catalogue of erroneous ideas reveals the degree to which his empirical model of human reason depends on negating everything that fails to meet that standard.
Well known as the target of pamphlet attacks that charged him with greed, immorality, venality, plagiarism, and fraud, Pope’s verse epistles, essays, and mock-epic Dunciad proved him the more successful combatant in the early eighteenth-century war of words. This contentious chapter in British literary history is much more thoroughly documented and explained than Pope’s success in the United States. In contrast to the British Pope, his American counterpart was famous from the start. His poetry was not only imported by numerous colonial booksellers but also reprinted from Maine to South Carolina in a variety of formats.
As it was transported and took root in America, he reasons, the English language was magically stripped of corrupted elements and restored to something like its original purity: “On examining the language, and comparing the practice of speaking among the yeomanry of this country, with the stile of Shakespear [sic] and Addison, I am constrained to declare that the people of America, in particular the English descendants, speak the most pure English now known in the world” (288). Thanks to the homogeneity of the American “yeomanry,” Webster feels he can declare that there are “in the extent of twelve hundred miles in America .
The Importance of Feeling English: American Literature and the British Diaspora, 1750-1850 by Leonard Tennenhouse