An Outline of American Literature (PENG) by P.B. High

By P.B. High

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Extra resources for An Outline of American Literature (PENG)

Sample text

Longfellow had mastered several European languages and creatively used material he found in German, Dutch, Finnish and other national literatures. A more serious problem is pointed out in Emerson's gentle criticism of this poet: "I have always one foremost satisfaction in reading your books that I am safe. " Longfellow never surprises or shocks us with new truths. With his calm and clear voice, he prefers to express " the simple dreams of average humanity" . They were the comfortable dreams and ideals of nineteenth-century America.

In 1 867, Twain's newspaper sent him to Europe and the Holy Land . When his letters were published, he became an American literary hero. The letters then became his first major book, The Innocents Abroad ( 1 869) . The book clearly shows his "democratic" hatred of the European aristocracy. When he is taken to see the great old paintings, he refuses to praise them. In fact, he plays a "hoax" on his guide by asking very stupid questions. Although he is critical of Europeans, he is much more critical of American tourists in Europe.

In Harte's work, we see all the main characters of the movie Western: the pretty New England school teacher, the sheriff, the bad man, the gambler and the bar girl . J OEL Ib folklore, stories (folk tales) , customs and beliefs of a racial or national group. i11ississippi riverboats at the time oj iWark Twain The bank robberies and bar room f ghts he describes have all become of a well-know n genre 1 7 . William Dean Howells (see p. 85) once remarked that the American ,1\1est could be described "without the sense of any older civilization outside of it.

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