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American writers and their writings

Edgar Allan Poe brought about several changes in the literary style of his time period.
Poe, as a writer, poet, editor and a critical writer influenced not only American literature, but
he also had an impact on international literature. He was one of the first writers to develop
the genre of both detective fiction and horror.
Stories like The Pit and the Pendulum, The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The
Fall of the House of Usher, as well as poems like the Raven set him apart from other
writes of his time. Many anthologies credit him as the "architect" of the modern short story.
He was also one of the first critics to focus primarily on the effect of the style and of the
structure in a literary work; as such, he has been seen as a forerunner to the "art for art's
sake" movement. Poes style still impacts writers today. "Nearly every important American
writer after Poe shows signs of influence, especially when working in the gothic mode or
with grotesque humor. The French, Italians, and writers in Spanish and Portuguese in the
Americas acknowledge and demonstrate their debts to Poe in technique and vision."
Steven King, Clive Barker and others have followed in the footsteps of Poe. The genre of
horror is bigger today than ever and Edgar Allan Poe was at the forefront of this style of
Nathaniel Hawthrone-Nathaniel Hawthorne, born on July 4, 1804 in Salem,

Massachusetts was an American short story writer and romance novelist.

He is best known for his short stories and two widely read novels; The
Scarlet Letter (mid-March 1850) andThe House of Seven Gables (1851).
Along with Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe much of Hawthorne's work
belongs to the sub-genre of Dark Romanticism; which is distinguished by an
emphasis on human fallibility that gives rise to lapses in judgement that allow
even good men and women to drift toward sin and self-destruction, and also
tends to draw attention to the unintended consequences and complications
that arise from well-intended efforts at social reform.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was America's most beloved

nineteenth century poet and is an integral part of our culture

today. In his best known poems, Longfellow created myths and

classic epics from American historical events and materials
Native American oral history ("The Song of Hiawatha"), the
diaspora of Acadians (Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie), and the first
battle of the Revolutionary War ("Paul Revere's Ride"). He
reminded Americans of their roots and in the process became an
American icon himself.
Longfellow also influenced America's artistic and popular culture.
His works inspired artists and composers, and his poems were
read and recited not only in parlors and schoolrooms, but also at
civic ceremonies. Schools, geographic locations, and ordinary
products, even cigars, were named for him and for characters
from his poems. In the 1870s, schoolchildren celebrated his
birthday as if it were a national holiday.
His poetry has been a continuous presence in our language ever
since. He is quoted by merchants and manufacturers on their
products, by journalists and preachers in their articles and
sermons, and by ordinary men and women in their daily lives.
Some of his lines and phrases - "A boy's will is the wind's will,"
"Ships that pass in the night," "Footprints on the sands of time" are so well known that they have entered the American language.
Today they are often quoted without the speaker even knowing
Longfellow penned the words.
The following pages examine Longfellow's impact on popular
culture, and offer an in-depth examination of two of his more
famous poems, Evangeline and "Paul Revere's Ride." Resources in
this section are a filmography, a page dedicated to the many
artists who have illustrated Longfellow's words, and a list of
The information on the following pages was drawn largely from
Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life by Charles Calhoun and from the
text of the exhibit "Longfellow: The Man Who Invented America"
curated by Joyce Butler in 2002. For more information on these
and other sources, please see the bibliography.

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin, whom the Scottish philosopher David Hume
called America's "first great man of letters," embodied the
Enlightenment ideal of humane rationality. Practical yet
idealistic, hard-working and enormously successful, Franklin
recorded his early life in his famousAutobiography. Writer, printer,
publisher, scientist, philanthropist, and diplomat, he was the most
famous and respected private figure of his time. He was the first
great self-made man in America, a poor
democrat born in an aristocratic age that
his fine example helped to liberalize.
Franklin was a second-generation
immigrant. His Puritan father, a chandler
(candle-maker), came to Boston,
Massachusetts, from England in 1683. In
many ways Franklin's life illustrates the
impact of the Enlightenment on a gifted
individual. Self- educated but well-read in
John Locke, Lord Shaftesbury, Joseph
Addison, and other Enlightenment writers,
Franklin learned from them to apply reason to his own life and to
break with tradition -- in particular the old-fashioned Puritan
tradition -- when it threatened to smother his ideals.
Chractheristics of American literature
The United States has such a large and varied literature
that we can make no true generalizations about it. But
three characteristics seem to stand out and give it a flavor
all its own.

First, American literature reflects beliefs and traditions that come

from the nations frontier days. The pioneer ideals of self-reliance
and independence appear again and again in American writings.
American authors have great respect for the value and
importance of the individual. They tend to reject authority and to
emphasize democracy and the equality of people. They often
celebrate nature and a sense of boundless space.

Second, American writers have always had a strong tendency to

break with literary tradition and to strike out their awn directions.
Writers of other counties seem to absorb their national literary
traditions. But many American authors have rejected the old in
order to create something new.
Third, a lively streak of humor runs through American literature
from earliest times to the present. In many cases , a dash of salty
humor saves a serious theme from becoming too sentimental.
American humor tends to be exaggerated rather than subtle. It
reflects the peoples ability to laugh at themselves even during
the most difficult times.
The Most Popular Sonnets!
The most popular sonnets are
126 - O thou my lovely boy
130 - My Mistress' eyes
029 - When in disgrace with fortune
116 - Let me not to the marriage of true minds
18 - Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?

Countries in North America

Antigua and Barbuda





Costa Rica



Dominican Republic

El Salvador









St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Lucia

St. Vincent and The Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago

USA (United States of America

South America