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American literature

Europe Sees America

He other day on the Champs-Elysees, I ran into an art critic who, like me, had just returned to Paris from America. "Well," he asked, "how about your recent trip? What do you think this time about things over there?" With a flicker of a smile on hi [...]

Our Edgar

Edgar Allan Poe, that strange genius of a hack writer, lived in such a narcissistic cocoon of torment as to be all but blind to the booming American nation around him, and so, perversely, became a mythic presence in the American literary consciousness.


Why the Southern Renaissance?

Why the Southern Renaissance ever occurred is still something of a mystery. All that is attempted here is an analysis of some explanations that have been offered by others and a few additional speculations. Before turning to the critical why, however, it is necessary to determine just what it is we are talking about. In the first place, we are stuck with a misnomer in the very word "renaissance." For neither in its literal sense nor in its classic historical usage is this French word really applicable to what happened in the South.