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The American Renaissance Poe, Emerson, (Thoreau) The classical literary period in American literature between 1845-1855, when

many notable poets, writers appeared on the literary scene (Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, the Transcendentalists, etc.) Edgar Allan Poe (18 !"18#!) " American poet, short"story writer, literary critic. Poetry$ a passion %or Poe. &To Helen, 'The (aven&, &Annabel )ee&, &*ldorado&, etc. Purpose o% poetry$ to elevate the soul.
&+hen indeed men spea, o% beauty, they mean precisely, not a -uality as is supposed, but an e%%ect " they re%er in short, .ust to that intense and pure elevation o% soul, not o% intellect, or o% heart ... which is e/perienced in conse-uence o% contemplatin0 the &beauti%ul&, 1ow 2 desi0nate eauty as the !ro"ince (3%ield) o# the !oem$%

Tales$ Poe learned a 0reat deal %rom 4ritish 5othic and 6harles 4roc,den 4rown. He started writin0 stories with the intention o% parodyin0 the 5othic popular stories o% the day. He carne up with two ,inds o% stories mainly$ Tales o# the grotes&ue (clash o% rational and irrational %orces)$ The 7all o% the House o% 8sher$ He investi0ates the tripartite or0ani9ation o% man$ body, mind and spirit, a ,ind o% disinte0ration o% the sel%. :pirit is e/tended and animates (;me0eleven<t) matter. 'sher is an artist (poet, musician, philosopher). A crac,, a madness overta,es him. The house re%ers to the %amily o% the house. The spirit o% the house in%luences the occupants o% the house and vice versa. )i0eia$ The narrator is unreliable, an opium addict, a madman. There are many 5othic elements. =eath is inevitable. The narrator always spea,s about his %irst wi%e (>how beauti%ul was she?) 48T perhaps his %irst wi%e, )i0eia, is .ust a hallucination by opium dreams@ Tales o# ratiocination$ &Murders in the (ue Mor0ue&, &The Purloined )etter'', &The Mystery o% Marie (o0et&. Prota0onists or narrators 0o mad, narrators are o%ten unreliable. Human reason is vulnerable and doomed to %ailure i% con%ronted with irrational powers. :tories about the sin%ul and diseased soul o% man,ind. Tales o% ratiocination are %orerunners o% detective %iction. =upin, the hi0hly intelli0ent mysterysolver, uses method and ima0ination, the -ualities o% a mathematician and poet at the same time to solve mysteries. Anonymous narrator %riend relates the cases (6onan =oyle's :herloc, Holmes and +atson). (iterary criticism$ ideas about Art e/pressed in essays, critical reviews. >The poetic principle? and &The Philosophy o% 6omposition& " e/plains the rational and methodical construction o% &The (aven&. 2t says$ poems should be read at one sittin0, so it shouldnAt be lon0. 2mpression is si0ni%icant$ %or e/., a beauti%ul woman lin,in0 with death. The tone is melancholic. =ialo0ues. (e%rains (>never more?). :u00estiveness is re-uired. R$ )$ Emerson (18 B"188C) 2n 18C! he was appointed as 8nitarian minister to the :econd 6hurch o% 4oston. The decline o% Puritanism in 1ew *n0land "by 181D$ 1# %rom the 1E churches o% 4oston adopted 8nitarian principles. Main doctrines o% 8nitarianism (source o% transc.)$ 1.The 7atherhood o% 5od " denyin0 the three"%old nature o% 5od

C.The 4rotherhood o% man B. The leadership o% Fesus " Fesus is also human, not divine #. :alvation by character " 6hristianity is a way o% li%e D. Pro0ress o% man,ind onward and upward %orever. 7or *merson, reli0ion was important, but institution isnAt necessary. =irect relationship o% man with the Gversoul (;5od) is needed. +e should listen to our intuition. Hou canAt possibly 0o wron0 i% you listen to your heart@ *vil$ you %ail to do 0ood. Transcendentalism " born with *merson's essay &1ature& (18BE). 5ives up his post as 8nitarian minister. Transcendentalism is in !art !hiloso!hy, !art religion, !art literature, eclectic in nature$ The late and locali*ed mani#estation o# the Euro!ean Romantic mo"ement. The trium!h o# #eeling and intuition o"er reason, the individual over society, impatience at customs, traditions, deli0ht in nature. :ources$ neo"Platonism, 5erman idealist philosophy, *astern mystical writin0s (Iedantism, 6on%ucianism). (eason as opposed to 8nderstandin0$ (eason ; intuition and 8nderstandin0 is in%erior to it@ :ince 5od has made man in his own ima0e, man also is divine and the 0reatest moral %orce here on earth is to be %ound in the e/ample o% the lives o% noble men. The presence o% evil was disre0arded. The double"%old nature o% everythin0$ %or every wic,ed deed in the world there is somewhere a 0ood one. &=ivinity :chool Address& (18B8) " delivered be%ore the 0raduatin0 youn0 ministers o% Harvard. &The American :cholar& (18BJ) The American :piritual =eclaration o% 2ndependence.
&+e have listened too lon0 to the courtly muses o% *urope&

&:el%"(eliance& (18#1) The 0reat men o% history had always spo,e what they and not others thou0ht. 5enius is noncon%ormity. Men should be li,e children (non"con%orrnin0) in this respect. +is themes in the essays, 8niversalism (theolo0ical)$ 5od is there %or everyoneK The power o% )an0ua0e$ a 0ood preachin0 is emotional, not %ormal. =onAt %ollow tradition@ 2ndividuality$ donAt imitate, .ust be yoursel%. *.A. Poe criticised Transcendentalist (and *mersonAs) poetry %or bein0 too su00estive and %lat. (&Philosophy o% 6omposition&) +enry -a"id Thoreau (181J"18EC) 4orn in 6oncord, Mass. 5raduated %rom Harvard. :choolteacher, later handyman at *merson's home. Published poems and essays in The Dial, the transcendentalist .ournal. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (18#!) " A travel account %ull o% poems and essays. Gnly two hundred copies sold.
>Poetry is the mysticism o% man,ind. L...M The true poem is not that which the public read. There is always a poem not printed on paper, coincident with the production o% this, stereotyped in the poet's li%e. 2t is what he has become through his work. 1ot how is the idea e/pressed in stone or on canvas or paper, is the -uestion, but how %ar it has obtained %orrn and e/pression in the li%e o% the artist. His true wor, will not stand in any prince's 0allery. My li%e has been the poem 2 would have writ, 4ut 2 could not both live and utter it.?

Walden; or Li e in the Woods (18D#)$ written durin0 his CE months stay at +alden Pond. Thoreau wrote this to show the way one should live. 1ot in the sense that he wanted to be imitated, but in *merson's sense o% &sel%"reliance&K one should live the way one thin,s it ri0ht. Most people do no ,now how to live$
&The mass o% men lead lives o% -uiet desperation&. & ... 2 do not spea, to those who are well employed or notK""but mainly to the mass o% men who are discontented, and idly complainin0 o% the hardness o% their lot or o% the times, when they mi0ht improve them.?