A Companion to American Literature and Culture (Blackwell by Paul Lauter

By Paul Lauter

This expansive spouse bargains a collection of clean views at the wealth of texts produced in and round what's now the United States.* Highlights the various voices that represent American literature, embracing oral traditions, slave narratives, local writing, literature of our surroundings, and extra* Demonstrates that American literature was once multicultural prior to Europeans arrived at the continent, or even extra so thereafter* deals 3 exact paradigms for pondering American literature, targeting: genealogies of yank literary learn; writers and matters; and modern theories and practices* permits scholars and researchers to generate richer, extra various and extra entire readings of yankee literature

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Additional info for A Companion to American Literature and Culture (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)

Example text

In the long term, however, the English forces in the North and the Spanish armies in the South reduced the amount of territory that the French controlled considerably, leaving only Quebec and Louisiana in French hands. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson negotiated the Louisiana Purchase with Napoleon, and the territory became part of the United States. The Emergence of the Literatures 15 Like the Spanish, the French also produced a considerable number of histories, personal narratives, and captivity narratives.

Tobacco became the most important cash crop of the region, and the high degree of cheap labor demanded for tobacco plantations quickly led to the use of indentured laborers and the establishment of slavery as prominent features of the economy and culture of the South. What evolved was a society with a relatively small number of wealthy plantation owners with families supported by a population of white male indentured laborers who worked their way to freedom and African slaves who had little hope of gaining freedom.

American literature began to become international with Irving spending 17 years in Europe and Cooper spending seven there, and this trans-Atlantic dimension of American writing continued with Hawthorne, who spent seven years in England and Italy, and with Melville, a world traveler. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and other members of the Transcendentalist movement were well acquainted with members of the Romantic movement in Europe, and many of the other women writers in the United States, such as Lydia Maria Child, Lydia Sigourney, Susan Warner, Fanny Fern, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, were read and toasted in England and on the continent.

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