Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Culture of Conversation
Peter Gibian explores the key role played by Oliver Wendell Holmes in what was known as America's 'Age of Conversation'. He was both a model and an analyst of the dynamic conversational form, which became central to many areas of mid-nineteenth-century life. Holmes' multivoiced writings can serve as a key to open up the closed interiors of Victorian America, whether in saloons or salons, parlours or clubs, hotels or boarding-houses, schoolrooms or doctors' offices. Combining social, intellectual, medical, legal and literary history with close textual analysis, and setting Holmes in dialogue with Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Fuller, Alcott and finally with his son, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior, Gibian radically redefines the context for our understanding of the major literary works of the American Renaissance.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Midnightdreary - LibraryThing
In this enormously-comprehensive study, Gibian convincingly argues that all of Dr. Holmes's varied interests - from medicine to novels to poetry to reform - stem from his role in developing a "culture ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
American associated authority Autocrat become begin Boston break breakfast-table bring called central century chapter cited Civil Club continual conversation course culture currents de®ned debate describes develop dialogue discourse discussion diverse Doctor dynamic early emerging Emerson example experience explosive fact force give gravity gure Hawthorne Holmes household human ideas important intellectual interaction interruption language later lead Letters literary Master medicine meetings mental mid-century mind movements nally natural notes observes Oliver passage play Poet political position possible Press problems Professor questions reading relations rhetorical scene scienti®c seems seen sense serve simply social society sort speak speaker speech style suggests table-talk talk thought tion Truth turns University verbal vision voices writing York young