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John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture

Edited by Edward Watts and David J. Carlson

John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture critically reassesses the significance of American novelist, editor, critic, and activist John Neal to the transatlantic literary culture of the nineteenth century. Long appreciated primarily as a powerful advocate of literary nationalism in the United States, Neal is presented in this volume as an innovative literary stylist, a penetrating cultural critic, a pioneering regionalist, and a vital participant in the business of letters in America over a sixty-year career. The volume’s contributors (including scholars from the United States, Germany, England, Italy, and Israel) employ a wide range of critical methodologies (legal studies, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, etc.) to survey Neal’s career from his early novel writing in the 1820s to his culminating autobiography, published in 1869. Special attention is paid to his work as an editor, journalist, critic, and publisher in a variety of journals. Throughout this discussion, Neal emerges as a vastly underappreciated artist and a figure of considerable importance to the ongoing reassessment of the American Renaissance and the broader cultural history of the nineteenth century. The editors’ introduction (and the volume as a whole) offers an overview of the present vitality of the new Neal scholarship while also suggesting a number of areas for future research and inquiry. « less more »
University Press Copublishing Division / Bucknell University Press
Pages: 319Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-1-61148-420-5 • Hardback • December 2011 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-61148-421-2 • eBook • February 2012 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
Edward Watts is professor of English at Michigan State University. David J. Carlson is professor of English at California State University, San Bernardino.
Introduction: John Neal: Across the American Renaissance, Edward Watts and
David J. Carlson
Chapter One: “’I Must Resemble Nobody’: John Neal, Genre, and the Making of American Literary Nationalism,” Matthew Pethers
Chapter Two: “The Herbage of Death”: Haunted Environments in John Neal and James Fenimore Cooper,” Matthew Wynn Sivils
Chapter Three: “Eye-Witness to History: The Anti-Narrative Aesthetic of Neal’s Seventy-Six,” Jeffrey Insko
Chapter Four: “Notes on Poetic Push-Pin and the Writing of Life in John Neal's Authorship,“ Jorg Thomas Richter
Chapter Five: “Celebrated Rubbish: John Neal and the Commercialization of Early American Romanticism,” Maya Merlob
Chapter Six: “John Neal, The Rise of the Critick, and the Rise of American Art,”
Francesca Orestano
Chapter Seven: “John Neal and John Dunn Hunter,” Jonathan Elmer
Chapter Eight: “Another Declaration of Independence”: John Neal’s Rachel Dyer and the Assault on Precedent,” David J. Carlson
Chapter Nine: “Here, There, and Everywhere: The Elusive Regionalism of John Neal,”
Kerin Holt”
Chapter Ten: “’He Could Not Believe that Butchering Red Men Was Serving Our Maker’: ‘David Whicher’ and the Indian Hater Tradition,” Edward Watts
Chapter Eleven: “John Neal and the Early Discourse of Women’s Rights,”
Karen Weyler
Chapter Twelve: “A Right Manly Man” in 1843: John Neal on Women’s Rights and the Problem of Male Feminism,” Fritz Fleischmann
Chapter Thirteen: “How John Neal Wrote His Autobiography,” Kevin J. Hayes
Works Cited
List of Contributors