howe Reviews by the essayists, who all seem to be measuring their own turf, there is almost nothing of organized coherence to the essays. There are no real transitions. Authors like Charles Brockden Brown, not to mention better-known ones, are covered again and again without cross-reference. Each essay starts on its own ground with no coordination. Many, such as Arac's, are mere summaries of other critics. Hester Blum overemphasizes the links between Robinson Crusoe and Moby-Dick. Gregory S. Jackson needs to acknowledge Amy Kaplan and prior sources in homilies and the later Social Gospel. Milette Shamir's study of manhood in the American novel seems behind the times, while Jennifer Rae Greeson needs to do a better job of explaining the details of such Southern writers as John Pendleton Kennedy all the way to Walker Percy for the essay to feel authoritative. One very obvious example of how essays on related material could be more intertextual would be Carrie Tirado Bremen's "James, Pragmatism, and the Realist Ideal" and its adjacent piece, Michael A. Elliott's "Realism and Radicalism: The School of Howells." As it is, they seem to exist in separate worlds. Indeed, many entries appear in some sort of
American Literary Realism – University of Illinois Press
Published: Mar 23, 2014
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