American Literary Criticism in the Nineteenth Century Criticism: The Transcendentalists - Essay

Helen Neill McMaster (essay date December 1928)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: McMaster, Helen Neill. “Ghosts.” Margaret Fuller as a Literary Critic. University of Buffalo Studies 7, no. 3 (December 1928): 35-42.

[In the following excerpt, McMaster claims that Fuller's critical work has been neglected by her editors and biographers.]

The early years of the “great Americano-European legend,” the years before the impending cataclysm of civil strife was to disturb the serenity of America, witnessed the birth of a new phase in New England culture. The Puritan settlers in New England had succeeded in establishing and maintaining, for nearly two centuries, a culture uncontaminated by the depraving influence of European thought; but the...

(The entire section is 3514 words.)

Vivian C. Hopkins (essay date 1951)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Hopkins, Vivian C. “The Work of Art.” In Spires of Form: A Study of Emerson's Aesthetic Theory, pp. 105-146. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951.

[In the following excerpt, Hopkins explains Emerson's aesthetic theory as it applies to literature.]


In his lecture series on The Philosophy of History (1836-37), Emerson proceeds from the third lecture, on Art, to the fourth, on Literature, and defines the special place of literature in the creative world: “Whilst Art delights in carrying a thought into action, Literature is the conversion of action into thought. The architect executes his dream in stone. The...

(The entire section is 13822 words.)