Savage Songs and Wild Romances

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Rodopi, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 196 pages
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"Savage Songs & Wild Romances "considers the various types of poetry - from short songs and laments to lengthy ethnographic epics - which nineteenth-century settlers wrote about indigenous peoples as they moved into new territories in North America, South Africa, and Australasia. Drawing on a variety of texts (some virtually unknown), the author demonstrates the range and depth of this verse, suggesting that it exhibited far more interest in, and sympathy for, indigenous peoples than has generally been acknowledged. In so doing, he challenges both the traditional view of this poetry as derivative and eccentric, and more recent postcolonial condemnations of it as racist and imperialist. Instead, he offers a new, more positive reading of this verse, whose openness towards the presence of the indigenous Other he sees as an early expression of the tolerance and cultural relativity characteristic of modern Western society.Writers treated include George Copway, Alfred Domett, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, George McCrae, Thomas Pringle, George Rusden, Lydia Sigourney, and Alfred Street.
 

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Contents

NineteenthCentury Settler Culture
7
NineteenthCentury Versifications of Indigenous Orature
25
Savage Songs and Laments
45
Settler Verse and the Politics of Sympathy
67
Romantic Verse Melodramas
84
Ethnographic Verse Epics
109
Conclusion
133
Appendix
138
Works Cited
177
Index
187
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