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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 influence, he relocates the yank Renaissance the place it effectively belongs, on the centre of a large social, monetary, and ideological circulation from the Jacksonian period to the Civil warfare. primarily, Gilmore's argument matters the writers' participation in what Thoreau referred to as 'the curse of trade.' He information their combined resistance to and complicity within the burgeoning literary industry and, via extension, the complete ' financial revolution' which among 1830 and 1860 'transformed the U.S. right into a marketplace society'. . . . ''The result's a version of literary-historical revisionism. Gilmore's beginning chapters on Emerson and Thoreau exhibit that 'transcendental' suggestion and language can come absolutely alive while understood in the fabric approaches and ideological constraints in their time. . . . the rest 5 chapters, on Hawthorne and Melville, comprise the most penetrating contemporary commentaries at the aesthetic innovations of yankee Romantic fiction, awarded inside of and during probably the most astute, considerate issues i do know of commodification and the 'democratic public' in mid-nineteenth-century the United States. . . . essentially and methodologically, American Romanticism and undefined has an important position within the circulate in the direction of a brand new American literary historical past. It locations Gilmore on the leading edge of a brand new iteration of critics who're not only reinterpreting regular texts or researching new texts to interpret, yet reshaping our methods of considering literature and culture.''—Sacvan Bercovitch, occasions Literary complement ''Gilmore writes with strength, readability, and wit. The reader is enriched through this book.'' William H. Shurr, American Literature

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6-71 Thoreau's position in this passage is directly opposed to the laissezfaire ideology gaining in popularity among his contemporaries. He sees the marketplace not as a discipline in self-reliance, an arena where the man of enterprise can prove his worth, but rather as a site of humiliation where the seller has to court and conciliate potential buyers to gain their custom. The interactions of exchange, in his view, breed not independence but servility. Nor, insists Thoreau, does nineteenth-century agriculture offer an exemption from the abasements and dependencies of the exchange process.

Thoreau constantly challenges the false identification of what "they" say or do with the course of nature. He maintains that social reality, to which men submit as though to "a seeming fate" (p. 5), is in fact made by men and subject to their revision. His neighbors, whose resignation only masks their desperation, do not adopt the customary modes of living out of preference but "honestly think there is no choice left" (p. 8). Although they deny the possibility of change and say, 'This is the only way," Thoreau insists that they are mistaken, that "there are as many ways" to live as "can be drawn radii from one centre" (p.

Harmony between man and his world, the ostensible goal of economic and technological progress, is said to lie in the past rather than the future. "And all history," declares the poet, "is but the epoch of one degradation" (CW I :42). In the third stage of Nature Emerson reclaims the world for nineteenth-century man. He argues that Reason or intuition enables men to apprehend the spiritual element that pervades the universe and heals the breach between mind and matter. Because all objects in the world have a spiritual as well as a material side, nature is not alien but emblematic and charged with meaning to the eye of Reason: "Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.

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