American Renaissance Criticism: Major Authors Of Short Fiction - Essay

Tobin Siebers (essay date 1983)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Siebers, Tobin. “Hawthorne's Appeal and Romanticism.” In The American Renaissance: New Dimensions, edited by Harry R. Garvin and Peter C. Carafiol, pp. 100-117. London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1983.

[In the following essay, Siebers maintains that Hawthorne utilizes the literary traditions of Gothicism and Romanticism in his stories in order to critique New England's history of witch trials.]

Great literature expresses history, that is, explicates it. Yet part of the literary expression of history may be contingent upon history's capacity to explicate itself. One domain in which this capacity reveals itself concerns the role of the...

(The entire section is 8804 words.)

Gregory S. Jay (essay date 1983)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Jay, Gregory S. “Poe: Writing and the Unconscious.” In The American Renaissance: New Dimensions, edited by Harry R. Garvin and Peter C. Carafiol, pp. 144-69. London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1983.

[In the following essay, Jay discusses the discourse of sexuality, philosophy, and textuality in the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe.]

Can the dispossession of consciousness to the profit of another home of meaning be understood as an act of reflection, as the first gesture of reappropriation?

—Ricoeur, Freud and Philosophy

But human megalomania...

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Eugene Current-García (essay date 1985)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Current-García, Eugene. “Poe's Short Fiction.” In The American Short Story before 1850: A Critical History, pp. 59-83. Boston: Twayne, 1985.

[In the following essay, Current-García discusses major thematic and stylistic elements of the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe.]

When Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore on 7 October 1849 he had written and published, during the preceding twenty years, between seventy and eighty tales and sketches, some of which had been republished, with certain revisions, a number of times in different magazines. Many of his tales and sketches also reappeared in three collections during the last decade of his life: Tales of the...

(The entire section is 12604 words.)

A. Robert Lee (essay date 1985)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Lee, A. Robert. “Voices Off and On: Melville's Piazza and Other Stories.” In The Nineteenth-Century American Short Story, edited by A. Robert Lee, pp. 76-102. London: Vision, 1985.

[In the following essay, Lee discusses Melville's use of narrative voice to express multiple perspectives in his short stories.]

In summer, too, Canute-like, one is often reminded of the sea. For not only do long ground-swells roll the slanting grain, and little wavelets of the grass ripple over upon the low piazza, as their beach, and the blown down of dandelions is wafted like the spray, and the purple of the mountains is just the purple of the...

(The entire section is 9520 words.)

Joseph Rosenblum (essay date spring 1986)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Rosenblum, Joseph. “A Cock Fight between Melville and Thoreau.” Studies in Short Fiction 23, no. 2 (spring 1986): 159-67.

[In the following essay, Rosenblum argues that Melville's short story “Cock-A-Doodle-Doo” represents a critique of Thoreau's Transcendentalism as expressed in his volume A Week.]

In 1948 Egbert S. Oliver suggested that Melville's “Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!” was intended as a satire “on the buoyant transcendental principles which Melville heard echoing and re-echoing in the New England hills, especially those emanating from Concord, and, more particularly, a passage from A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.1...

(The entire section is 4486 words.)

John Downton Hazlett (essay date 1989)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Hazlett, John Downton. “Re-Reading ‘Rappucccini's Daughter’: Giovanni and the Seduction of the Transcendental Reader.” ESQ 35, no. 1 (1989): 43-68.

[In the following essay, Hazlett considers the themes of romance and seduction in relation to Transcendentalism in Hawthorne's short story “Rappucini's Daughter.”]

Not surprisingly, most interpretations of “Rappaccini's Daughter” have been launched on the assumption that Hawthorne was writing one of his usual “blasted allegories.” Hawthorne himself invites such a reading in the story's self-mocking, self-advertising preface by creating a fictional editor who introduces the work as the production...

(The entire section is 10091 words.)

Douglas Tallack (essay date 1993)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Tallack, Douglas. “Not Unoriginal: Herman Melville's Short Stories.” In The Nineteenth-Century American Short Story: Language, Form and Ideology, pp. 140-80. London: Routledge, 1993.

[In the following essay, Tallack examines Melville's use of narrative technique and point-of-view in “The Town-Ho's Story.”]

That would be too long a story …

—Herman Melville, ‘The Town-Ho's Story’


Shortly before its publication in 1851 as Chapter 54 of Moby-Dick, ‘The Town-Ho's Story’ appeared in an issue of Harper's Magazine...

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Bruce Mills (essay date 1995)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Mills, Bruce. “Literary Excellence and Social Reform: Lydia Maria Child's Ultraisms for the 1840s.” In American Women Short Story Writers: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Julie Brown, pp. 3-16. New York: Garland, 1995.

[In the following essay, Mills analyzes Child's short stories in the context of her work as an abolitionist, social reformer, and transcendentalist.]

Fifteen months after retiring from a tumultuous two-year editorship of the National Anti-Slavery Standard, Lydia Maria Child voiced astonishment over the literary success of Letters from New York (1845), a collection of journalistic transcendental essays first printed in...

(The entire section is 4801 words.)