Ben Railton's Contesting the Past, Reconstructing the Nation: American PDF

By Ben Railton

ISBN-10: 0817315802

ISBN-13: 9780817315801

ISBN-10: 0817357920

ISBN-13: 9780817357924

Fables of yank background embodied in Gilded Age literature

In this research of Gilded Age literature and tradition, Ben Railton proposes that during the years after Reconstruction, the US’ s id was once usually contested via unique and competing conceptions of the kingdom’ s heritage. He argues that the us moved towards unifying and univocal ancient narratives within the years among the Centennial and Columbian Expositions, that ongoing social clash supplied websites for issues of these narratives, and that works of historic literature provide probably the most revealing glimpses into the character of these competing visions.

Gilded Age scholarship frequently connects the interval to the 20th-century American destiny, yet Railton argues that it's only as the most important to work out how the period pertains to the yank earlier. He heavily analyzes the 1876 and 1893 Expositions, discovering that a number of the interval’ s vital tendencies, from know-how to imperialism, have been in detail attached to specific visions of the kingdom’ s background. Railton’ s drawback is with 4 key social questions: race, local american citizens, ladies, and the South. He offers shut readings of a few texts for the methods they spotlight those matters. He examines verified classics (The Adventures of Huck Finn and The Bostonians); more recent additions to the canon (The Conjure girl, existence one of the Piutes, the tale of Avis); principally forgotten best-sellers (Uncle Remus, The Grandissimes); unrecovered gem stones (Ploughed below, the place the conflict used to be Fought); and autobiographical works by way of Douglass and fact, poems by way of Harper and Piatt, and brief tales via Woolson and Cook.

These readings, whereas illuminating the authors themselves, give a contribution to ongoing conversations over old literature’ s definition and cost, and a better knowing of not just American society within the Gilded Age, but in addition debates on our shared yet contested historical past that stay a great deal alive within the present.



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Contesting the Past, Reconstructing the Nation: American Literature and Culture in the Gilded Age, 1876-1893 (Amer Lit Realism & Naturalism) by Ben Railton

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