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By Michael T. Gilmore

''This e-book can take its position at the shelf beside Henry Nash Smith's Virgin Land and Leo Marx's The computing device within the backyard .''—Choice ''[Gilmore] demonstrates the profound, sustained, engagement with society embodied within the works of Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau and Melville. In impact, he relocates the yankee Renaissance the place it safely belongs, on the centre of a large social, monetary, and ideological flow from the Jacksonian period to the Civil warfare. essentially, Gilmore's argument issues the writers' participation in what Thoreau known as 'the curse of trade.' He info their combined resistance to and complicity within the burgeoning literary industry and, by way of extension, the full ' fiscal revolution' which among 1830 and 1860 'transformed the USA right into a industry society'. . . . ''The result's a version of literary-historical revisionism. Gilmore's establishing chapters on Emerson and Thoreau convey that 'transcendental' proposal and language can come totally alive whilst understood in the fabric strategies and ideological constraints in their time. . . . the rest 5 chapters, on Hawthorne and Melville, include one of the most penetrating fresh commentaries at the aesthetic techniques of yankee Romantic fiction, provided inside and during the most astute, considerate concerns i do know of commodification and the 'democratic public' in mid-nineteenth-century the US. . . . essentially and methodologically, American Romanticism and undefined has an important position within the circulate in the direction of a brand new American literary background. It locations Gilmore on the vanguard of a brand new new release of critics who're not only reinterpreting typical texts or getting to know new texts to interpret, yet reshaping our methods of pondering literature and culture.''—Sacvan Bercovitch, instances Literary complement ''Gilmore writes with strength, readability, and wit. The reader is enriched by way of this book.'' William H. Shurr, American Literature

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The poet in particular, with his highly developed imagination, has the gift of discerning "this radical correspondence between visible things and human thoughts" (CW I :19). Using nature symbolically for purposes of expression, he "unfixes the land and the sea . . " "The sensual man conforms thoughts to things; the poet conforms things to his thoughts. The one esteems nature as rooted and fast; the other, as fluid, and impresses his being thereon" (CW I : 31). What the poet does figuratively, moreover, all men can do in actuality by grasping "that wonderful congruity which subsists" between them and the cosmos (CW I :40).

And] suddenly began to hook up the virgin mould itself, with a peculiar jerk, clear down to the sand, or rather the water, . . all the terrafirma there was, and haul it away on sleds" (pp. 294- 95). As Thoreau's denunciation of Flint makes clear, his quarrel with the marketplace is in large measure ontological. He sees the exchange process as emptying the world of its concrete reality and not only converting objects into dollars but causing their "it-ness" or being to disappear. A particularly powerful statement of this idea occurs at the beginning of "The Ponds," in the passage (cited in Chapter I ) where Thoreau assails the marketing of huckleberries.

Though Thoreau begins with the conviction that literature can change the world, the aesthetic strategies he adopts to accomplish political objectives involve him in a series of withdrawals from history; in each case the ahistorical maneuver disables the political and is compromised by the very historical moment it seeks to repudiate. This is not to deny Walden's greatness, but rather to emphasize the cost of Thoreau's achievement and to begin to specify its limits. No reader of the book can fail to notice the exultant tone of the "Conclusion"; the impression it leaves is of an author who has made good on his promise not to write "an ode to dejection" (p.

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