Essays on Modern American Literature
By (author) David Herd
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Enthusiast! by David Herd
Book DescriptionEnthusiast! is a polemical history of American literature told from the point of view of six of its major enthusiasts. Complaining that his age was 'retrospective', Emerson injected enthusiasm into American literature as a way of making it new. 'What,' he asked, 'is a man good for without enthusiasm? and what is enthusiasm but the daring of ruin for its object?' This book takes enthusiasm to be a defining feature of American literature, showing how successive major writers - Melville, Thoreau, Pound, Moore, Frank O'Hara and James Schuyler - have modernized and re-modeled Emerson's founding sense of enthusiasm. The book presents the writer as enthusiast, showing how enthusiasm is fundamental to the composition and the circulation of literature. Enthusiasm, it is argued, is the way literary value is passed on. Starting with a brief history of enthusiasm from Plato to Kant and Emerson, the book features chapters on each of Melville, Thoreau, Pound, Moore, O'Hara, and Schuyler. Each chapter presents an aspect of the writer as enthusiast, the book as a whole charting the changing sense of literary enthusiasm from Romanticism to the present day. Lucidly written and combatively argued, the book will appeal to readers of American Literature or Modern Poetry, and to all those interested in the circulation of literary work.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780719074288
(234mm x 156mm x 23mm)
Imprint: Manchester University Press
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publish Date: 1-Sep-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
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Enthusiast! is a polemical history of American literature told from the point of view of six of its major enthusiasts. The book establishes enthusiasm as a defining feature of American literature. It shows how enthusiasm is fundamental to the circulation of culture. It
John Ashbery and American Poetry, Paperback (June 2009)» View all books by David Herd
John Ashbery is America's greatest living poet. He is also greatly misunderstood. Presenting the poet in all his forms -avant-garde, nostalgic, sublime and camp - this book argues that the perpetual inventiveness of Ashbery's work has always been underpinned by the poets desire to write the poem fit to cope with its occasion.
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Author Biography - David Herd
David Herd is Senior Lecturer in English and American Literature at the University of Kent
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