American Literary Criticism in the Nineteenth Century Criticism: Overviews And General Studies - Essay

Clarence Arthur Brown (essay date 1954)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Brown, Clarence Arthur. “The Aesthetics of Romanticism.” In The Achievement of American Criticism: Representative Selections from Three Hundred Years of American Criticism, selected by Clarence Arthur Brown, pp. 149-82. New York: The Ronald Press, 1954.

[In the following essay, Brown offers an overview of the emergence of the various schools of nineteenth-century American literary criticism, most of which were based on the aesthetics of Romanticism and devoted to the development of a national literature.]

The rise of romanticism can be seen in early issues of the North American Review.1 Traditionally, since its founding in 1815, the...

(The entire section is 17622 words.)

René Wellek (essay date 1965)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Wellek, René. “American Criticism.” In A History of Modern Criticism: 1750-1950, Vol. 3: The Age of Transition, pp. 150-81. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965.

[In the following excerpt, Wellek outlines the dominant critical theories of the early and mid-nineteenth century, concentrating on the works of Poe, Emerson, and other transcendentalists.]

INTRODUCTORY

In recent decades American scholars have studied the early history of criticism in the United States closely and have demonstrated that even Colonial times produced some criticism in the sense of literary opinion about authors and the function of literature. In the early...

(The entire section is 15501 words.)

Patrick Parrinder (essay date 1977)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Parrinder, Patrick. “Victorian Criticism: The Republic of Letters.” In Authors and Authority: English and American Criticism 1750-1990, pp. 134-139. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan, 1991.

[In the following excerpt, originally published in 1977, Parrinder briefly discusses the critical theories associated with Emerson, Whitman, and Poe.]

THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN CRITICISM: EMERSON, WHITMAN AND POE

‘A BREATH AS OF THE GREEN COUNTRY,—ALL THE WELCOMER THAT IT IS NEW-ENGLAND COUNTRY, NOT SECOND-HAND BUT FIRST-HAND COUNTRY,—MEETS US WHOLESOMELY EVERYWHERE IN THESE ESSAYS’: THESE ARE THE WORDS OF CARLYLE,...

(The entire section is 2319 words.)