By Christopher Benfey
One of many most desirable critics in modern American letters, Christopher Benfey has lengthy been identified for his extraordinary and incisive essays. showing in such guides because the long island overview of Books, the recent Republic, and the days Literary complement, Benfey's writings have helped us reimagine the yank literary canon. In American Audacity, Benfey gathers his best writings on eminent American authors (including Emerson, Dickinson, Whitman, Millay, Faulkner, Frost, and Welty), bringing to his subjects---as the hot York occasions booklet assessment has stated of his past work---"a scholar's thoroughness, a critic's astuteness and a storyteller's feel of drama."Although Benfey's pursuits variety from artwork to literature to social background, this assortment makes a speciality of specific American writers and a few of the ways that an American identification and tradition tell their paintings. damaged into 3 sections, "Northerners," "Southerners," and "The Union Reconsidered," American Audacity explores quite a few canonical works, outdated (Emerson, Dickinson, Millay, Whitman), sleek (Faulkner, Dos Passos), and extra modern (Gary Snyder, E. L. Doctorow).Christopher Benfey is the writer of various extremely popular books, together with Emily Dickinson: Lives of a Poet; The Double lifetime of Stephen Crane; Degas in New Orleans: Encounters within the Creole global of Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable; and, so much lately, the nice Wave: Gilded Age Misfits, eastern Eccentrics, and the outlet of previous Japan; and A summer time of Hummingbirds. Benfey's poems have seemed within the Paris assessment, Pequod, and Ploughshares. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim beginning, the nationwide Endowment for the arts, and the yank Council of realized Societies. at present he's Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College."A proficient literary historian and critic."---The ny evaluate of Books "Longer than publication experiences and shorter than long reappraisals of a poet or critic, the person essays express a convinced, if modest, contact . . . His unadorned sentences . . . will inspire readers to shop for books by means of the bibliographers and students he reports in addition to go back readers to the audacious figures that contain America's literary history."---Larry T. Shillock, Bloomsbury Review"In its energetic and unique feedback of yank writers, Christopher Benfey's American Audacities monitors its personal audacities on each page."---William H. Pritchard
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He preferred almost any political arrangement to violence, and insisted on dedicating his sketches of British life collected in Our Old Home (1863) to the compromised Franklin Pierce, who had tried to forge a separate peace with Jefferson Davis. He wanted the North to win but he would have been just as happy to see the South leave the Union. And yet, Hawthorne knew perfectly well that Pierce, whose views accorded with his own, was not a great president and that Lincoln, whose views he mostly deplored, most certainly was.
Irmscher concedes Fuller’s assessment of Longfellow’s lack of originality, and tries to convert it into a virtue. ” Irmscher reminds us that Longfellow was the ‹rst professor of modern languages at Harvard, a ‹eld that barely existed, and the ‹rst to teach a class on Faust. ” After Fanny’s death in 1861, Longfellow assumed the task of translating the entire Divine Comedy, meeting regularly with his “Dante Club” to try out individual cantos. The time was ripe for 33 translation, as Van Wyck Brooks noted long ago, with Bayard Taylor working on his version of Faust and T.
Her best-known poem at the time, “Because I could not stop for Death,” gained a stanza previously excised by Todd 41 and Higginson. And Johnson’s edition recorded the alternative words—sometimes placed at the bottom of the page, sometimes between the lines, and sometimes ›oating in the margins—that Dickinson marked on her later manuscripts, as her interest in publication waned. There was a general feeling that here at last was the “real” Dickinson, the poems as she had written them. Readers skeptical of her achievement were now persuaded.
American Audacity: Literary Essays North and South (Writers on Writing) by Christopher Benfey