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Essays on Modern American Literature

Modern American literature began with a statement of enthusiasm from Emerson's writing in Nature. 'Enthusiasm', in Emerson, is a knowing word. Sometimes its use is as description, invariably approving, of a historic form of religious experience. Socrates' meaning of enthusiasm, and the image of the enthusiast it throws up, is crucial to this book. The book is a portrait of the writer as an enthusiast, where the portrait, as will become clear, carries more than a hint of polemic. It is about the transmission of literature, showing various writers taking responsibility for that transmission, whether within in their writing or in their cultural activism. Henry David Thoreau's Walden is an enthusiastic book. It is where enthusiasm works both in Immanuel Kant's sense of the unbridled self, and in William Penn's sense of the 'nearer' testament, and in Thoreau's own sense of supernatural serenity. Establishing Ezra Pound's enthusiasm is a fraught and complicated business. Marianne Moore composed poems patiently, sometimes over several years. She is a poet of things, as isolated things - jewels, curios, familiar and exotic animals, common and rare species of plant - are often the ostensible subjects of her poems. Homage to Frank O'Hara is a necessary book, because the sum of his aesthetic was to be found not just in his writing, but also in his actions to which only friends and contemporaries could testify. An enthusiastic reading of James Schuyler brings to the fore pleasure, the sheer pleasure that can come of combining, or mouthing, or transcribing.

Open Access (free)
Henry David Thoreau
David Herd

1 Sounding: Henry David Thoreau We know what Thoreau meant by Walden, or at least, we know what he meant for it to do. We know because he told us, on the title page of his book, where by way of an epigraph he quoted himself: I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up.1 So that’s clear then. In fact, Thoreau could be hardly be clearer. What could be clearer after all, as he amplifies later in the chapter called ‘Sounds’, than a cockerel crowing clear

in Enthusiast!
Abstract only
Peter Barry

’. Ecocriticism, as it now exists in the USA, takes its literary bearings from three major nineteenth-century American writers whose work celebrates nature, the life force, and the wilderness as manifested in America, these being Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82), Margaret Fuller (1810–50), and Henry David Thoreau (1817–62). All three were ‘members’ of the group of New England writers, essayists, and philosophers known collectively as the transcendentalists, the first major literary movement in America to achieve ‘cultural independence’ from European models. Emerson's first, short

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
Shannon Scott

-east were required to produce ‘without compensation’ one or two wolf pelts for each tribal hunter as an annual tribute to British colonists. 2 By the nineteenth century, wolves had been hunted to extinction in the north-east and their loss has often been linked in literature with the forced removal of North American tribes from their land. In a journal entry from 23 March 1856, Henry David Thoreau

in She-wolf
The Puritan influence on American Gothic nature
Tom J. Hillard

can allow us to begin such work, to consider carefully the terrible comfort that Heather Donahue feels when she states in The Blair Witch Project that ‘We’ve destroyed most of our natural resources.’ In Walden , Henry David Thoreau admits, ‘I believe that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark, though the witches are all hung, and Christianity and candles have

in Ecogothic
Tim Robinson’s place in Irish Studies
Eamonn Wall

hEithir (eds), An Aran Reader (Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1991), 3. 7 B. and R. Ó hEithir, An Aran Reader, 1. 8 Tim Robinson, The View from the Horizon:  Constructions by Timothy Drever 1972 (London: Coracle, 1997), 9–16. 9 Henry David Thoreau, ‘Walking’, in Wendell Glick (ed.), Great Short Works of Henry David Thoreau (New York: Harper and Row, 1982), 298. 10 Thoreau, ‘Walking’, 320. 11 Thoreau, ‘Walking’, 306–12. 12 Robinson, Pilgrimage, 2–3. 13 Robinson, Pilgrimage, 23. 14 Christine Cusick, ‘Mapping Placelore: Tim Robinson’s Ambulation and Articulation of

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Constructing the Rhine
Joanne Yao

. Internationalizing the Romantic Rhine As the fame of the scenic Rhine spread, international visitors appropriated the river as their own. In the early nineteenth century, artists and writers traveling along the river on the European Grand Tour transformed the Rhine into a universal Romantic symbol and must-see tourist destination. J. M. W. Turner's paintings and the words of Victor Hugo, Lord Byron, Ann Radcliffe, and Henry David Thoreau attest to the river's international appeal. These artists and subsequent multitudes celebrated the wild twisting beauty of

in The ideal river
Listening in/to Tim Robinson
Gerry Smyth

: Oxford World’s Classics, 1992), 192. 2 Martin Heidegger, ‘What Are Poets For?’ [1950a], in Poetry, Language,Thought, trans. by Albert Hofstader (New York: Perennial Library, 1971), 89–142 (139). 3 Tim Robinson, Connemara: Listening to the Wind (Dublin: Penguin, 2006), 1. 4 Robinson, Listening, 2 5 Robinson, Listening, 2. 6 Robinson, Listening, 3. 7 Robinson, Listening, 3. 8 Robinson, Listening, 3. 9 In so far as this is the case, one of Robinson’s intertexts  – a ‘precentor’ (one who sings before), so to speak – is the chapter entitled ‘Sounds’ in Henry David Thoreau’s

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Vittorio Bufacchi

ecology is still today a vibrant school of thought which enjoys a long and distinguished tradition, counting Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy among its early champions. 11 In terms of COVID-19, it has even been suggested that when central authority fails in performing socially crucial tasks – as it has in the US, judging from the inadequate response to the pandemic 12 – informal networks and civil society organizations step up and perform the tasks of the central authority. In the UK there have been many cases of fundraising initiatives for the benefit of the

in Everything must change
Jonathan Chatwin

foot in the city, you are always subject to the forces of the majority; there is no real possibility of striking off the beaten path as you might on a country jaunt, because you will doubtless find your way obstructed by a building or a barrier. You must follow the routes that have been carved out for you, in between and underneath these obstructions, built for those with practical requirements of their day: getting to work; getting home; moving people and goods. Henry David Thoreau, whose passion for walking was very particularly a passion for walking in nature

in Long Peace Street