Charles Brockden Brown by Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock

By Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock

The yankee writer Charles Brockden Brown (1771–1810) is a arguable determine in the box of Gothic stories. He used to be fashionable via nineteenth-century literary figures akin to Poe, Hawthorne, George Lippard (who devoted his gothic novel Quaker urban to him), and John Greenleaf Whittier; pointed out as a massive determine within the improvement of the yank literary culture through serious heavyweights together with R. W. B. Lewis, Richard Chase, Harry Levin, and Leslie Fiedler; and obviously influential to the total American Gothic culture. despite the fact that, it continues to be real that Brown is seldom learn outdoor of classes on American Romanticism and is extra frequently celebrated for what he initiated than for what he completed. right here, Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock fills this void within the educational and cultural list with an creation to Brown and his writing that makes the case for Brown as an incredible writer in his personal correct.   

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Mettingen ultimately is just as remote and isolated as are the Davises while travelling across Norwood or Edgar while sleepwalking through Norwalk. indd 40 6/7/2011 3:37:38 PM The Frontier Gothic setting of the deceptively idyllic Wieland home on the banks of the Schuylkill provides a microcosmic parallel for the deceptively idealistic temper of the new republic. 35 What is interesting about these allegorical interpretations is the extent to which they – and others like them – necessarily overlay a figurative interpretation upon the literal geography in Wieland.

57 It is no accident, then, that Edgar first encounters Indians like bears asleep in a cave. They are yet another natural obstacle to be overcome on his path back to civilization. The difficulty of Edgar’s quest to return home is that he, like the missing film-makers in The Blair Witch Project, has essentially wan­ dered off the map. Edgar Huntly, it should be pointed out, is a novel defined by wandering – both, as critics have remarked, in its digressive structure and more literally through Edgar’s constant movement.

Despite the tragic circumstances resulting in the death of her father and in turn leading to the death of her mother, Clara Wieland at the start of her tale portrays Mettingen as a placid island of artistic and intellectual contemplation in which she, her brother and his family dwell harmoniously. Her father’s property having been divided equally between herself and her brother, Clara lives alone in a ‘neat dwelling, situated on the bank of the river, three quarters of a mile’ (p. 21) from her brother’s dwelling – and apparently at least that far from anyone else’s as well.

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