American Literary Criticism in the Nineteenth Century Criticism: “Young America” - Essay

Criticism: “Young America”

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Stafford, John. “Young America's Theory of Criticism.” In The Literary Criticism of “Young America”: A Study in the Relationship of Politics and Literature 1837-1850, pp. 39-53. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1952.

[In the following excerpt, Stafford examines the critical theory associated with the group of reviewers known as “Young America”—a group that included Cornelius Mathews, Evert A. Duyckinck, William A. Jones, John L. O'Sullivan, and Parke Godwin—and their dedication to a democratic national literature.]

I

To understand Young America's criticism, we must consider the group's theories and assumptions...

(The entire section is 5554 words.)