“Where Genius dies” : The Debate over “Literary Deliquency” in the Early United States


SMITH Jeffrey Alan

Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Silesian Studies In English 2021. Proceedings of the 6th international conference of English and American studies, 9th-10th September 2021
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web SILSE Proceedings
Keywords American literature; nineteenth century; literary nationalism; Transcendentalism
Description For nearly a century, from the Revolution until after the Civil War, both foreign critics and anxious American men and women of letters debated the question of when and how America would establish a national literature of its own. This essay examines that debate and its various sub-questions, noting its key figures and arguments and its connections with larger issues of textual authority, national “genius,” and the cultural implications of American democracy.
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