American Literary Criticism Since the 1930s by Vincent B. Leitch

By Vincent B. Leitch

American Literary feedback because the Nineteen Thirties totally updates Vincent B. Leitch’s vintage booklet, American Literary feedback from the 30s to the 80s following the improvement of the yank academy correct as much as the current day. up-to-date all through and with a new bankruptcy, this moment version: presents a serious heritage of yank literary thought and perform, discussing the effect of significant faculties and events examines the social and cultural heritage to literary learn, contemplating the function of key theories and practices presents profiles of significant figures and influential texts, outlining the connections between theorists provides a brand new bankruptcy on advancements because the Nineteen Eighties, together with discussions of feminist, queer, postcolonial and ethnic feedback. accomplished and fascinating, this publication bargains an important review of the advance of literary reports in American universities, and a springboard to extra study for all these drawn to the advance and examine of Literature.

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He argued that most major writers after the Civil War and up to the Great Depression were born into middle-class culture but, unable to find meaning in bourgeois culture’s proclaimed values, they eventually experienced alienation and pessimism. According to Calverton, the doctrine of self-reliant individualism, in particular, became a target—intentionally or otherwise—of American writers’ criticism and scorn. “The faith of Emerson and Whitman belongs to the past and not to the future. Their belief in the common man was a belief in him as a petty bourgeois individualist; our belief must be in him as proletarian collectivist.

Aesthetics depended on social philosophy. Given his commitments, Calverton found it tactically necessary to defer “pure aesthetic” studies: “I have intentionally avoided the problem of aesthetic analysis and evaluation. In short, as an expedient, I have taken the aesthetic element for granted, and in almost all cases have immediately proceeded to an analysis of the philosophy, or ideology if you will, that underlay the individual author’s work” (xii). Ideological analysis, not aesthetic evaluation, explicitly constituted the method of The Liberation of American Literature.

The next year the New York Legislature expelled five duly elected socialist members. Hysteria against socialists and communists provided the essential backdrop for the judicial sentences in the infamous Sacco-Vanzetti case decided in 1921. The second significant “red scare” spanned the years from 1947 to 1954; it was the internal counterpart of the external Cold War. In March 1947 President Truman issued an Executive Order requiring all future federal employees to sign a loyalty oath. ) The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which restricted labor unions, called for labor leaders to take oaths that they were not members of the Communist Party.

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