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Scenes of Nature, Signs of Men : Essays on 19th and 20th Century American Literature - Tony Tanner

Scenes of Nature, Signs of Men

Essays on 19th and 20th Century American Literature

Paperback Published: 13th November 1989
ISBN: 9780521311557
Number Of Pages: 288

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This book is about the relationship of the American writer to his land and language - to the 'scene' and the 'sign', to the natural landscape and the inscriptions imposed upon it by men. Among the questions considered in the first section of the book are how does American Romantic writing differ from European; what are the peculiar problems faced by the American artist, and what roles does he adopt to tackle them; what kind of writing results when authors as different as Henry Adams and Mark Twain lament the vanishing of an earlier America, or when Adams and Henry James review their complex relationship to their homeland, or when W. D. Howells and Stephen Crane seek to define their themes in a specifically American setting. The second section of the book examines similar concerns in a number of contemporary writers, notably Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Donald Barthelme, John DeLillo, and William Gass.

Industry Reviews

'What brings the book together, of course, is the extraordinarily inventive, creative and coherent consciousness of one of our most distinguished literary critics. Everything Tanner touches seems to me somehow newer and fresher. He reminds me of a kind of critical alchemist who is able to take the most used and jaded of literary materials and turn them into brilliant objects.' American Literary Realism 'Always, Mr Tanner is sensitive, subtle, surprising ... From Walt Whitman to William Gass, Mr Tanner beautifully illuminates, in Emily Dickinson's words, all these Continents of Light.' The New York Times Book Review

Preface
Scenes of nature, signs of men
Notes for a comparison between American and European Romanticism
Problems and roles of the American artist as portrayed by the American novelist
James on Hawthorne
The lost America - the despair of Henry Adams and Mark Twain
Henry James and Henry Adams
William Dean Howells and A Hazard of New Fortunes
Stephen Crane
The Bostonians and the human voice
Games American writers play: ceremony, complicity, contestation, and carnival
Toward an ultimate topography: the work of Joseph McElroy
Frames and sentences
William Gass's barns and bees
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521311557
ISBN-10: 0521311551
Series: Cambridge Paperback Library
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 13th November 1989
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.71 x 15.22  x 2.06
Weight (kg): 0.43

Earn 134 Qantas Points
on this Book