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Civilizing America

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Civilizing America

Manners and Civility in American Literature and Culture
Dietmar Schloss (Editor)

The past three decades have seen a surge of interest in forms of social analysis arising out of the study of conduct and manners - particularly among historians of early modern Europe and the periods prior to the Age of Democratic Revolution. The essays in this collection broaden the line of inquiry to include the American context from the colonial period to the present. Scholars from both the United States and Europe analyse the views of writers and social commentators - assessing, questioning, and re-evaluating the role of manners in American society. Should manners be seen as a particular feature of Old World aristocratic societies that have become obsolete in the New? Or do they continue to shape modern democratic societies, perhaps under a different 'gestalt'? Is the apparent absence of a sophisticated system of manners in the United States - as many nineteenth-century novelists thought - a sign of cultural and aesthetic impoverishment? Or does this absence signal the emergence of a new 'natural' and 'authentic' personality? Does the ubiquity of a relaxed or informal style in the twentieth century signal this new freedom of self-expression? Or does it indicate that other, more abstract disciplinary systems have superseded the regime of manners? The essays in this volume make clear that the discourse about American manners and civility - which has been readily engaged by writers and social critics at different moments in American history - was a discourse about the forces that shape the social processes in modern democracy.

European Antecedents
MANFRED HINZ - Castiglione, Gracian, and the Foundation of Gentlemanly Manners in Early Modern Europe 1
VERA NUNNING - Civilising Women? Women, Morals, and Manners in Eighteenth-Century Britain 19
Fashioning American - Identity in the Colonial Period and the Early Republic
JAY FLIEGELMAN - American Dramas of Self-Control 43
MARTINA B. PURUCKER - Colonial Encounters: Food and Civility in Early America 55
DIETER SCHULZ - John Cotton and the Puritan Origins of American Civility 71
DAVID S. SHIELDS - Cursing the Company: The Aesthetics of Social Disgust in Eighteenth-Century Anglo Society 85
WIL VERHOEVEN - "The condition of our country": Self-Control and Discipline in Charles Brockden Brown's National Tales 97
The Search for American Manners in the Early Nineteenth Century
JORG THOMAS RICHTER ´- The Willing Suspension of Etiquette: John Neal' s Brother Jonathan ( 1825) 111
JOHN MCWILLIAMS - Of Spit and Schmooze: Mrs. Trollope, Fenimore Cooper and American Manners 133
THOMAS CLARK - Fenimore Cooper's The American Democrat and the Political Dimension of Manners 151
HERWIG FRIEDL - Emerson on Manners 173
CHRISTOPHER MULVEY - Digging the Erie and Spreading Gentility: The Development of Public Manners in the Ante-Bellum North 185
The Consolidation of American Manners in the Late Nineteenth Century
SUSAN WINNETT - "A thin, transparent veil": Manners and the Nineteenth-Century American Novel 205
BETTINA FRIEDL - Social Masquerade: The Code of Dress and the American Novel of Manners 215
SERGIO PEROSA - Manners and Morals: Henry James and Others 229
GARY SCHARNHORST - Benjamin Franklin's Legacy to the Gilded Age: Manners, Money, and Horatio Alger 243
KURT MÜLLER - Investigating the Power of Performance: Manners and Civility in American Naturalism 253
The Demise and Reinvention of Manners after 1900
WlNFRIED FLUCK - "Every man therefore behaves after his own fashion": American Manners and Modernity 277
JEROME KLINKOWITZ - The Manners of Jazz in Ishmael Reed's Fiction 299
DOROTHEA FISCHER-HORNUNG - Civilizing Gardens, Fructifying Hybridity, and Cultural Crosspollination in Leslie Marmon Silko's Gardens in the Dunes 311
HEINZ ICKSTADT - Manners and Contemporary American Fiction 327
List of Contributors 355

American Studies / A Monograph Series - Volume 178

Universitätsverlag Winter Heidelberg, Hardback, english, 360 pages

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