Love and Death in the American Novel

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Dalkey Archive Press, 1997 - 512 pages
A retrospective article on Leslie Fiedler in the New York Times Book Review in 1965 referred to Love and Death in the American Novel as "one of the great, essential books on the American imagination . . . an accepted major work." This groundbreaking work views in depth both American literature and character from the time of the American Revolution to the present. From it, there emerges Fiedler's once scandalous—now increasingly accepted—judgment that our literature is incapable of dealing with adult sexuality and is pathologically obsessed with death.

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Contents

THE NOVEL AND AMERICA
23
THE NOVELS AUDIENCE AND THE SENTIMENTAL LOVE RELIGION
39
RICHARDSON AND THE TRAGEDY OF SEDUCTION
62
THE BOURGEOIS SENTIMENTAL NOVEL AND THE FEMALE AUDIENCE
74
THE BEGINNINGS OF THE ANTIBOURGEOIS SENTIMENTAL NOVEL IN AMERICA
105
CHARLES BROCKDEN BROWN AND THE INVENTION OF THE AMERICAN GOTHIC
126
JAMES FENIMORE COOPER AND THE HISTORICAL ROMANCE
162
ACHIEVEMENT AND FRUSTRATION
215
CLARISSA IN AMERICA TOWARD MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR
217
GOOD GOOD GIRLS AND GOOD BAD BOYS CLARISSA AS A JUVENILE
259
THE REVENGE ON WOMAN FROM LUCY TO LOLITA
291
THE FAILURE OF SENTIMENT AND THE EVASION OF LOVE
337
THE BLACKNESS OF DARKNESS EDGAR ALLAN POE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GOTHIC
391
THE POWER OF BLACKNESS FAUSTIAN MAN AND THE CULT OF VIOLENCE
430
INDEX
506
Copyright

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Page 70 - When lovely woman stoops to folly. And finds, too late, that men betray. What charm can soothe her melancholy, What art can wash her guilt away? The only art her guilt to cover. To hide her shame from every eye, To give repentance to her lover, And wring his bosom, — is to die.
Page 57 - Two loves I have of comfort and despair, Which like two spirits do suggest me still: The better angel is a man right fair, The worser spirit a woman colour'd ill. To win me soon to hell, my female evil Tempteth my better angel from my side, And would corrupt my saint to be a devil, Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
Page 416 - And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling— my darling— my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Page 315 - Dutch sailors' eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams ; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
Page 281 - But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there before.
Page 394 - And now we rushed into the embraces of the cataract, where a chasm threw itself open to receive us. But there arose in our pathway a shrouded human figure, very far larger in its proportions than any dweller among men. And the hue of the skin of the figure was of the perfect whiteness of the snow.
Page 315 - And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an...

About the author (1997)

Leslie Fiedler is Samuel Clemens Professor and SUNY Distinguished Professor at SUNY Buffalo. One of the greatest living literary critics, his works include LOVE AND DEATH IN THE AMERICAN NOVEL (1960), AN END TO INNOCENCE (1955); NUDE CROQUET (1969), and FREAKS (1978).

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