In Respect to Egotism: Studies in American Romantic Writing

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 26, 1991 - Literary Criticism - 316 pages
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Joel Porte offers a timely reassessment of nineteenth century literature, focusing on the general question of the American Romantic ego and its varying modalities of self-creation, self-display, self-projection, and self-concealment. The book begins by exploring the status of the "text" in nineteenth-century American writing, the relationship of "rhetorical" reading to historical context, and the nature of "Romanticism" in an American setting. Porte then concentrates on the great authors of the period through a series of thematically linked but critically discrete essays on Brown, Irving, Parkman, Cooper, Poe, Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Melville, Frederick Douglass, Stowe, Whitman, and Dickinson. Throughout his important new study, Porte offers provocative reassessments of familiar texts while at the same time casting an illuminating critical eye on less well-known territory. Readers of this book will come away with increased respect for the achievement of American Romantic writers.

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About the author (1991)

Joel Porte is Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1987. He is the author of In Respect to Egotism: Studies in American Romantic Writing; Representative Man: Ralph Waldo Emerson in His Time; and The Romance of America: Studies in Cooper, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and James. He is editor, with Saundra Morris, of The Cambridge Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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