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By Olaf Hansen

Addressing important concerns within the present revision of yank literary stories, Olaf Hansen consists of out an exposition of yankee writing as a philosophical culture. His wide and comparative view of yankee tradition finds the significance of the yankee allegory as a real inventive and highbrow variety and as a special mode of notion really suited for convey the philosophical legacy of transcendentalism. Hansen strains highbrow and cultural continuities and disruptions from Emerson via Thoreau and Henry Adams to William James, paying specific cognizance to the modernism of transcendental suggestion and to its caliber as a sound philosophy in its personal correct. fascinated with defining principles of self, selfhood, and subjectivity and with ethical culture as an act of constructing order out of the cosmos, the yank allegory supplied a easy and often missed hyperlink among transcendentalism and pragmatism. Its "suggestive incompleteness" mixed in a hugely dialectic demeanour the essence of either enlightenment and romanticism. characterised neither by means of absolute objectivity nor through absolute subjectivity, it allowed hypothesis in regards to the which means of truth and approximately humankind's position in a realm of appearances.

Originally released in 1990.

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Extra resources for Aesthetic Individualism and Practical Intellect_American allegory in Emerson, Thoreau, Adams, and James

Sample text

30. CHAPTER 1 ment in time. The efforts on his part are best exemplified in his wellknown boating pictures. At this time, Eakins was still sending some of his work to Gerome in Paris for criticism and advice, both of which he received in good measure, mostly favorable. "14 He himself already had in mind a painting of entirely dif­ ferent proportions. "I have just got a new picture blocked in & it is far more than any­ thing I have ever done," he wrote to Earl Shinn in 1875. "I have the greatest hopes for this one,"'1 he went on to say, and he was going to be right.

We will, in addition, understand how Eakins's French education fits into his American background and en­ abled him to paint The Gross Clinic, a painting that we take to be the painterly signature of the allegorical tradition in the American nine­ teenth century. However, on the surface of Eakins's development as a painter there is little advance promise of the authority of The Gross Clinic. There are a few details that can be isolated, but they do not really explain the explosion of stylistic will that we find in The Gross Clinic.

I have just got a new picture blocked in & it is far more than any­ thing I have ever done," he wrote to Earl Shinn in 1875. "I have the greatest hopes for this one,"'1 he went on to say, and he was going to be right. In a way, his The Gross Clinic would be his "real allegory," his very own and specific counterpart of Courbet's well-known The Paint­ er's Studio of 1855. The similarities and differences between these two paintings are indicative of the relationship of allegory and realism in the mid-nineteenth century.

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