– Notes and Quotes –
American Short Story 1
Seduction tale – Fanny McDermot, heroine dies
Framed tales – story within a story
Gothic tales – Rose for Emily, death in the South
Washington Irving (1783-1859), Rip Van Winkle (1819)
Pre-dates Revolutionary War.
Irving – Took the old tales and transformed.
Myth – explanation of thunder, unknown sciences
Henry Hudson’s nine-pin game.
We are with him as she awakes – no paragraph break, time is constant.
Union Hotel – Jonathon Doolittle
King George/President George
Is there more to setting or date/time? (1750-1820)
Are we (then) really separate from Britain?
What (then) did it mean to be an American?
Build the country from the end of the revolution.
Rip must decide his loyalties.
Irving make the reader come to this decision, also.
Fed/Anti Fed-Dems, etc.
Son, just like Rip
American Dream – hard work?
Abuses – sanctioned/instituted by King George.
William Austin (1778-1841), Peter Rugg the Missing Man (1824)
Foreshadowing themes to Hawthorne, Melville, Poe
A theme to fascinate writers.
The search for the Holy Grail.
Wandering Jew (actually Roman, not Jew, taunts Jesus)
Person is doomed to repeat things.
Rugg: bad tempered, threatens/prides to beat the storm home, attempts to being God like brings punishment.
Boston: home, things happening, Tea Party, etc.
Zealot of Puritan Christianity vs. non-Conformists, Puritan Anglicans.
The horse won’t stop at Boston.
Boston synonymous with colonialism.
How Hawthorne & Rugg coincide.
Punishment, Ire, Huber
Emotion, zeal for freedom in new country.
First buildings – jail & school.
Reclaim the zeal of Boston, never had, only reshaped.
Peter Rugg – Universal/Everyman
Oedipus – Moment of enlightenment (epiphany).
Changes accordingly or has a discernation.
Understanding, handed to the reader.
Human interest in the report.
Dunwell peruses for Krauff.
Universal search, contemporary warnings.
A storm chasing him, forcing him into the future.
Catharine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867), Fannie McDermot (1844)
Widely read, rediscovered
18th Century writers, American, British
Skepticism of fiction
Poetry & drama were more preferable
Fiction must be edifying, teach a moral
Fiction claims to follow history
Test of Sedgwick’s individuality
Leaps over transcendentalism to realism
1844 – Transcendentalism
1850’s – Nature, Moby Dick, Walden
Fulfill/depart from fiction
Directed to young women (unspoken)
Richardson – Longest novel in English?
Concerned with women/group treatment
Irish, potato famine
Brackenridge – Modern Chivalry
Sedgwick – religious conversion, Calvinist, Unitarianism, denounced religious intolerance
Without knowing why
God saves or forsakes
Point the dangers of young girls
Don’t read too much
Not educated, reads the bible
What was going on, historically, when the story was written?
Message of tolerance
Hanna Foster – coquette
Richardson – Clarissa
Seduction novel – Victim always dies
So the moral sticks, emphasized/dramatized
Augusta – Sensible independent in 18th Century
Defy versus duty
Parents, country, church, husband, kids
Think for selves more
Pleading for child, dies – sentimental message
Harder message if mom & child die
Lovelace – caviler poets
What windmills are you fighting now
Magdalene society – sister of mercy
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851), The Lake Gun (1850)
Leather Stocking Tales – Natty Bumpo
Not of transcendental school
Sir Walter Scott
combine real with fiction
aware of political realities/messages
Gray Champion/Peter Rugg
Lake Seneca, NY
Geneva, Swiss city
Cooper’s son, college in Geneva
created to explain phenomenon/unexplained sciences
Native – educated, representative (Natty Bumpo)
Fuller – Auto/bio representative of Cooper.
The Laws of Nature, by extension, the Laws of God
1850’s – the big decade in American literature
Post British stylization
Cooper Vs. Seward (Lincoln’s man, see – wise)
Cooper lived only 10 months after Lake Gun publication
Cooper opposed slavery, ineffective, counter productive
Lake Gun – a warning against the Civil War
Indians – more representational than real
Setting, typically rural, not cities
Civilization – D.C., corruption, evil
Characters – poetic, lyricism in describing nature
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), Wives of the Dead (1831) & The Gray Champion (1837)
Usually 17th century, NOT 18th century
Narrator – mouthpiece of author, sometimes
displaced loyalty to the crown
Hawthorne loved parades & street scenes
carryovers of puritan action
brought infamy to colonies
narrator reveals biased
Champion – hermit, in hiding, perhaps based on William Goff
Goff – of 59 signers of death warrant against Charles (Angel of Hadley?).
Suspicious of James who sent reverse death warrants for the registrides.
Sympathizers provide protection
Invading army of Indians
Narrator exalts in retreat
Bellicose, hostile, eager to fight
Gray Champion – incites war, women & children
Where was the Gray Champion? Bradstreet/Embrace
Drawn from Sir Walter Scott (Cooper, write a better novel)
Blended real with historical
Narrator – a viewpoint, real or imaginary.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), Bartleby the Scrivener (1853)
Bartleby – (1953)
Melville – consummate artist, avoids irrelevance
Wall Street – materialism/capitalism
Narrator – only source of knowledge, only his word, how reliable is he?
Literature – not history, but imagination/make-believe
Narrator – lacks strong moral conviction
John Jacob Astor – first millionaire in America, illegal and legal activities, opium, real estate, fur trading; ruthless – prelude “robber barons”; name – synonymous with wealth gained by dubious means
Narrator – “safe” – to be involved in dubious means with
Lost his office of Master of Chancery
No name given, no office number – ___ Wall Street
Symbolic configuration of the office
White view window/black view window
Perhaps reflection of narrator’s inner self
Melville – not writing in Realism.
Hawthorne – sometimes supernatural
Bartleby – motionless, pallid, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn
Byron/Bartleby – unlikely meeting
“I would prefer not to,” – the word – prefer
Bust of Cicero – Roman orator honorable, courageous, statesman, lawyer, died in battle, defended dictator
Cicero/Bartleby – can’t throw them out
Reminds narrator of his own shortcomings
Bartleby – passive resistance, eccentric, “of use” to narrator, earning self approval
Prefer – will not? – prefer not!
The will of god – great scale – can’t question, can’t understand; small scale – freedom of will within boundaries.
Priestly – no free will
“Priestly on necessity” – philosophical determinism
Reason to feel guilt
Bartleby – eminently decreous/decorum
Adhere to strict set of rules/guidelines
Black window – dead, brick wall (Bartleby’s view)
White window – not living wall
Interpretation #1 – Theme of the double; other half of personality; doppelganger; Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde; Evil/good twin.
Dostoevsky – The Double
Poe – William Wilson (1939)
Nightmare landscape of human soul
Interest in human psychology became greater
The Tomb/womb – fetal position, narrator succeeds in suppressing better self
Interpretation #2 – Melville’s life; south sea romances; sailor/descriptions; Omu/Taipei; large family man; Mardi – hated by public; changed from adventure/travel novels; wrote Moby Dick (masterpiece, organic structure, romantic); second cross roads
Bartleby/Melville – “prefer” not to go back
Melville died in debtors’ prison
What Melville was saying to the public, could not sacrifice integrity for money
The story of Wall Street
Moby Dick – high art/epic
Interpretation #3 – Narrative view point, figments of imagination, verge of insanity?
Poe – everyone in my whole family is mad, but not me.
Narrator’s mind in disintegration
The hunger artist
Discussion of Jonathan Edwards and Joseph Priestley (mentioned in “Bartleby, the Scrivener”). The note in our text identifies both of them as deniers of free will, but that is simplistic and in fact misleading (although that is an assumption sometimes made).
Jonathan Edwards was firm on the doctrine of predestination (and no free will).
Joseph Priestley argued that scientific inquiry and the exercise of human intellectuality could alter natural forces, thereby giving value to free will. He was a Unitarian or a Deist, depending on one’s viewpoint, and he was generally an optimist like Franklin.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), The Ghost in the Mill (1872)
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) (1835-1910), Cannibalism in Cars (1868)
Repetition of characters unifies the story
Story telling – retelling old stories
Homer – real person?
Hemingway – telling a story, tells the story away
Facts – not twisted, but dramatized
God’s law/civil law
Natives – converted/assimilated
Allegory vs. satire
Horace – Roman poet/satire
Satire – point out something that’s wrong, implication of change
Date of writing, date of setting
Allegory – symbolic story, everything takes on symbolic representation
Train – important literary symbol, soulless/inhuman society
Lost our souls since the 13th century
Now! We worship the mechanical soulless dynamo
Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893), The Necklace (1884)
Maupassant – James’s contemporary
Inspired James’s Paste
Class conflict within the Mathilde character
Jealous of Mme. Forestier
Henry James (1843-1916), Paste (1899)
Henry James – 1843
Friends with wealthy Edith Wharton
She helped fund James
James – 5 siblings
Sister Alice was mentally ill
Henry James was a psychologist
James – fascinated with illusion, lived mostly in Europe, spoke French & Italian, would come to US but couldn’t stay long, not enough culture to satisfy himself.
Gave up citizenship because of America’s reluctance to enter WWI.
Surprise ending – influenced O. Henry
Interest in writing realistic characters
Class system/conflict built into story
Story – reverses Maupassant’s Necklace
The Paste necklace – Pearls, valuable
The Necklace necklace – Diamonds, not valuable, paste
To lose American-ness
James’s techniques –
-The Scene – Not scenery, but in play terms, dialogue/scene.
-The Picture – Long descriptive paragraph
James’s villainess is almost more interesting that the heroine.
More emphasis on character development than on setting.
Henry James (1843-1916), The Real Thing (1892)
Artist – makes a living, but has higher aspirations
Narrator can’t use the Monarchs
Won’t violate the classist structure by allowing the Monarchs to be servants.
Donay (French) – The gift/inspiration
Monarchs – inequipped for their role as models
Other models – very equipped, comfortable, versatile
Art & alluring imagination to work.
Willa Cather (1873-1947), A Death in the Desert (1903)
Cather – “predominant American woman writer,”
Cather would have been upset by this title.
Cather & Wharton were more talented & capable
Cather – relationship between quality of life & art, particularly music.
The unfulfilled life needs art & love.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), A Journey (1899)
High Line Flyer – a train
The train – a symbol/metaphor for life
Going home to die
Married to escape circumstance
Feisel – freckled kid (Henry James term)
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), The Other Two (1837)
Gus Varick – recurring character, florid, brash, self-important
Fiction of manners
Concentration on dialect, dress, interactions
Often a class conflict
Jane Austin – first author of “manners”
James Joyse – Dubliner’s Story
William Dean Howles
Jan. 6th – Feast of Epiphany
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), An Alcoholic Case (1937)
Told through the eyes of the nurse
Risked tuberculous and unnamed case of her own (possibly STD/VD)
Contrast Hemingway – jealous of Fitzgerald
Select Bar, Paris – Where Hemingway & Fitzgerald met.
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), A Clean Well-Lighted Place (1933)
Iceberg theory to creating art.
Little bit at the surface, but much more beneath the surface of the water
Style – repetition of key words/ideas; “nada” – lack of religion.
Little attention to setting
Light & shadow
Modernism – make it new
Fragmentation of human thought
Freud – influential in modernism
1920 – Introduction to Psychoanalysis published
Coordinating conjunctions, few subordinates
Childlike quality, deceptively simple
Written during the Great Depression
Main character – plenty of money, no despair
Something going on outside the window – shows isolation
Style – Who’s saying what, distinguish forms & identify them
Alienation – Illusion – Temperance – Escape
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), Sweat (1926)
Following Harlem Renaissance
Combines folklore with biblical
Adam & Eve in reverse – serpent
Sykes – snakecharmer, lacks redeeming qualities
Delia – scared of snakes, bullwhip
Snake – sin, mortality, awful beauty
Biblical references – cup runeth over
Langston Hughes (1902-1967), Red-Headed Baby (1934)
African American writers didn’t want to emulate European writers
Story – centered in urban north
Challenge to paternalism & racism
Own terms, black dignity & culture
Modernism – Joyce, Woolf, Hemingway, Porter
Poetic prose – recreating fragmented thought
Thought – conceptual, not articulated sentences
Impression of human thought made intelligible
Mr. Clarence – no moral responsibility
O. Henry (1862-1910), The Gift of the Magi (1905)
Starting writing in prison
Specific realism – “forget the bad/hashed metaphor”
The gifts, the magi, illusion to the bible