Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Loners

Loners foreword t's sometimes said that realism and social commentary are at the heart of British and Continental literature--Flaubert, Dickens, Eliot, Tolstoy--while American literature is replete with haunted Romantic seekers, loners and existentialists of various sorts, including some who yearn for a greater connectedness and others who are merely destructive. The causes for America's early fascination with such characters may be obvious. For the first two hundred­some years of our existence as a colony and nation, we were in the process of settlement--underdeveloped and continually being both repopulated and threatened by waves of immigrants. Harvard historian Bernard Bailyn's The Barbarous Years describes the first century of America's occupation by Europeans as a tumultuous time that was very nearly overwhelmed by flux, confusion, illness and mortality. Perhaps it's natural that we should have latched on to the long-popular British genre of Gothic literature, with its ghosts and loners. However, by the late 1800s, when Americans yearned for nothing so much as cultural stability and gentility, our great "social realists" continued to wander into the bizarre or ghostly or to follow Romantic yearnings. Characters became alienated even in a realistic world. In some of their most intriguing work, writers like Henry http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Missouri Review University of Missouri

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-missouri/loners-jyfI4U4esL
Publisher
University of Missouri
Copyright
Copyright © The Curators of the University of Missouri.
ISSN
1548-9930
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

foreword t's sometimes said that realism and social commentary are at the heart of British and Continental literature--Flaubert, Dickens, Eliot, Tolstoy--while American literature is replete with haunted Romantic seekers, loners and existentialists of various sorts, including some who yearn for a greater connectedness and others who are merely destructive. The causes for America's early fascination with such characters may be obvious. For the first two hundred­some years of our existence as a colony and nation, we were in the process of settlement--underdeveloped and continually being both repopulated and threatened by waves of immigrants. Harvard historian Bernard Bailyn's The Barbarous Years describes the first century of America's occupation by Europeans as a tumultuous time that was very nearly overwhelmed by flux, confusion, illness and mortality. Perhaps it's natural that we should have latched on to the long-popular British genre of Gothic literature, with its ghosts and loners. However, by the late 1800s, when Americans yearned for nothing so much as cultural stability and gentility, our great "social realists" continued to wander into the bizarre or ghostly or to follow Romantic yearnings. Characters became alienated even in a realistic world. In some of their most intriguing work, writers like Henry

Journal

The Missouri ReviewUniversity of Missouri

Published: Mar 31, 2015

There are no references for this article.