John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture

Edward Watts and David J. Carlson (Eds.)

319 pages
ISBN 1611484205

John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture critically reassesses the significance of American novelist, editor, critic, and activist John Neal to the transatlantic literary culture of the nineteenth century. Long appreciated primarily as a powerful advocate of literary nationalism in the United States, Neal is presented in this volume as an innovative literary stylist, a penetrating cultural critic, a pioneering regionalist, and a vital participant in the business of letters in America over a sixty year career. The volume's contributor (including scholars from the United States, Germany, England, Italy and Israel) employ a wide range of critical methodologies (legal studies, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, etc.) to survey Neal's career from his early novel writing in the 1820s to his culminating autobiography, published in 1869. Special attention is paid to his work as an editor, journalist, critic, and publisher in a variety of journals. Throughout this discussion, Neal emerges as a vastly underappreciated artist and a figure of considerable importance to the ongoing reassessment of the American Renaissance and the broader cultural history of the nineteenth century. The editors' introduction (and the volume as a whole) offers an overview of the present vitality of the new Neal scholarship while also suggesting a number of areas for future research and inquiry.

Contributors: David J. Carlson, Jonathan Elmer, Fritz Fleischmann, Kevin J. Hayes, Kerin Holt, Jeffrey Insko, Maya Merlob, Francesca Orestano, Matthew Pethers, Jörg Thomas Richter, Matthew Wynn Sivils, Edward Watts, Karen Weyler

About the editors:

Edward Watts is Professor of English at Michigan State University.

David J. Carlson is Professor of English at California State University, San Bernadino.


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