By Glenn Hendler
During this booklet, Glenn Hendler explores what he calls the "logic of sympathy" in novels by way of Walt Whitman, Louisa may possibly Alcott, T. S. Arthur, Martin Delany, Horatio Alger, Fanny Fern, Nathaniel Parker Willis, Henry James, Mark Twain, and William Dean Howells. For those nineteenth-century writers, he argues, sympathetic identity used to be now not strictly somebody, feminizing, and personal feeling however the quintessentially public sentiment--a transformative emotion with the ability to form social associations and political movements.
Uniting present scholarship on gender in nineteenth-century American tradition with ancient and theoretical debates at the definition of the general public sphere within the interval, Hendler exhibits how novels taught assorted readers to "feel right," to event their identities as male or girl, black or white, center or operating type, via a sentimental, emotionally established constitution of feeling. He hyperlinks novels with such wide-ranging cultural and political discourses because the temperance circulate, feminism, and black nationalism. Public Sentiments demonstrates that, no matter if released for advertisement purposes or for larger ethical and aesthetic reasons, the nineteenth-century American novel was once conceived of as a public software designed to play in a sentimental key.
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