Neoclassicism, Romanticism - Coggle Diagram
Satirical poetry fared much better
than serious verse.
The mock epic genre encouraged American poets to use their natural voices.
In mock epics like John Trumbull's good-humored ‘M'Fingal’ (1776-82), stylized emotions and conventional turns of phrase are ammunition for good satire.
The first American comedy, ‘The Contrast’(1787) by Royall Tyler, humorously contrasts Colonel Manly, an American officer, with Dimple, who imitates English fashions.
Another satirical work, the novel ‘Modern Chivalry’, is published by Hugh Henry Brackenridge. He based his huge, picaresque novel on Don Quixote. It describes the misadventures of Captain Farrago and his stupid, brutal, yet appealingly human, servant Teague O'Regan.
American literary patriots felt sure that the great American Revolution naturally would find expression in the epic.
Epic is a long, dramatic narrative poem in elevated language, celebrating the feats of a legendary hero.
Many writers tried but none
Washington Irving (1783-1859) belonged to a group of American Gothic literature
He was named Washington after the hero of the American revolution (which had just ended), George Washington, and attended the first presidential inauguration of his namesake in 1789
Washington Irving was educated privately, studied law, and began to write essays for periodicals.
He travelled to France and Italy (1804–6), wrote whimsical journals and letters, then returned to New York City to practice law -though by his own admission, he was not a good student.
He and his brother William Irving and James Kirke Paulding wrote the ‘Salamagundi papers’ (1807–8), a collection of humorous essays.
He first became more widely known for his comic work, A History of New York (1809), written under the name of "Diedrich Knickerbocker."
In 1815 Irving went to England to work for his brothers' business, and when that failed he composed a collection of stories and essays that became The Sketch Book, published under the name "Geoffrey Crayon"
Although he became a best-selling author, he never really fully developed as a literary talent, he has retained his reputation as the first American man of letters.
Charles Brockden Brown (1771–1810) was the first professional American writer
Driven by poverty, he penned four haunting novels in two years: Wieland (1798), Arthur Mervyn (1799), Ormond (1799), and Edgar Huntley (1799).
In them, he developed the genre of American Gothic.
The Gothic novel was a popular genre of the day featuring exotic and wild settings, disturbing psychological depth, and much suspense.
Brown used distinctively American settings, he dramatized scientific theories, developed a personal theory of fiction, and championed high literary standards despite personal poverty.
They wrote in many prose genres, initiated new forms, and found new ways to make a living through literature.
The first important fiction writers widely recognized today, Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, and James Fenimore Cooper, used American subjects, historical perspectives, themes of change, and nostalgic tones.
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century
His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature
At 13 y.o. Cooper was enrolled at Yale, but, after inciting a dangerous prank that involved blowing up another student's door (after having already locked a donkey in a recitation room Cooper was expelled in his third year without completing his degree
At 20 y. o. Cooper inherited a fortune from his father
Cooper's wife Susan wagered that he could write a book better than the one she was reading. In response to the wager, Cooper wrote the novel “Precaution”.
By contrast, his second novel, “The Spy”, inspired by a tale related to him by neighbor and family friend, was more successful and became a bestseller.
1823 Cooper published “The Pioneers”, the first of the “Leatherstocking series”.
The series features Natty Bumppo, a resourceful American woodsman at home with the Delaware Indians and their chief Chingachgook.
Cooper's work, particularly “The Pioneers” and “The Pilot”, demonstrate an early 19th -century American preoccupation with prudence and negligence in a country where property rights were often still in dispute.
Bumppo was also the main character of Cooper's most famous novel, “The Last of the Mohicans” (1826).
Written in New York City, where Cooper and his family lived (1822-1826), the book became one of the most widely read American novels of the 19th century.
Cooper was one of the first major American novelists to include African, African-American and Native American characters in his works.