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A New World of Words
Author: William C. Spengemann

ISBN: 9780300105636
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 270
Published: 27 December 1993
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 1.27 x 13.97 x 20.96
Description:
Early American literature has traditionally been defined as writings in English by residents of the land that later became the United States. Thanks to this definition, it has only a modest reputation: "early" has come to mean "less" - less American and less literary than American literature proper. In this book, William C. Spengemann redefines early American literature, calling it writings in English that reflect or have been influenced by the discovery, exploration, and settlement of the New World.
Spengemann argues that linguistic criteria should have precedence over national origin in determining the national literature to which a given work rightfully belongs, and from this perspective he examines a variety of works in new and provocative ways. He analyzes Milton's Paradise Lost as an American poem that reflects the impact of the discovery and settlement of America on seventeenth-century religious culture; traces the semantic development of the English word Columbus from its first written appearance in 1553 to its identification with the United States after 1780; and compares in detail Benjamin Franklin's autobiography, William...

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