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Imagining Language in America
Author: Professor Michael P. Kramer

ISBN: 9780691634302
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 260
Published: 19 March 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8 x 1.6
Description:



In this study of the rhetoric of American writings on language, Michael Kramer argues that the prevalent critical distinction between imaginative and nonimaginative writing is of limited theoretical use. Breaking down the artificial, disciplinary barriers between two areas of scholarly inquiry--the literature of the American Renaissance and the study of language in the United States between the Revolution and the Civil War--Kramer finds in various walks of intellectual life a broad range of writers who "imagined language" for the new experiment in self-government. Each of these men combined ideas about language with ideas about America so as to form cultural fictions, or creative renderings of the nation--its meaning, its character, and how it worked. In order to reassess American linguistic and literary nationalism, Kramer allows Noah Webster, whose influential grammatical and lexicographic works have been considered only marginal to literary history, to share the stage with more conventionally literary figures--the neglected Longfellow and the canonical Whitman. Then an essay on The Federalist and the pragmatic language-r...

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