Charles Brockden Brown: A Study of Early American Fiction

Free Press association, 1904 - 66 sider

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Side 15 - No author, without a trial, can conceive of the difficulty of writing a romance about a country where there is no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor anything but a commonplace prosperity, in broad and simple daylight, as is happily the case with my dear native land.
Side 39 - One merit the writer may at least claim; that of calling forth the passions and engaging the sympathy of the reader, by means hitherto unemployed by preceding authors. Peurile superstition and exploded manners; Gothic castles and chimeras, are the materials usually employed for this end.
Side 36 - Wieland," is the moving principle of all the machinery, has this advantage over the latter, that it does not necessarily impair the effect by perpetually suggesting a solution of mysteries, and thus dispelling the illusion on whose existence the effect of the whole story mainly depends. The adventures, indeed, built upon it are not the most probable in the world ; but, waving this — we shall be well rewarded for such concession — there is no farther difficulty.
Side 51 - Brown's four novels, Schiller's Robbers, and Goethe's Faust were, of all the works with which he was familiar, those which took the deepest root in his mind, and had the strongest influence in the formation of his character.
Side 39 - Puerile superstition and exploded manners; Gothic castles and chimeras, are the materials usually employed for this end. The incidents of Indian hostility, and the perils of the western wilderness...
Side 55 - Helena Cleves was endowed with every feminine and fascinating quality. Her features were modified by the most transient sentiments, and were the seat of a softness at all times blushful and bewitching. All those graces of symmetry, smoothness, and lustre, which assemble in the imagination of the painter when he calls from the bosom of her natal deep the Paphian divinity, blended their perfections in the shade, complexion, and hair of this lady.
Side 14 - They may probably claim to be regarded as having first opened the way to the successful cultivation of romantic fiction in this country. Great doubts were long entertained of our capabilities for immediate success in this department. We had none of the buoyant, stirring associations of a romantic age, none of the chivalrous pageantry, the feudal and border story, or...
Side 46 - Jane Talbot; very stupid book; some letters soso; but the old woman in it is so abominable, the young woman so weak and the young man (the only sensible one in the whole) the author of course contrives to bring to idiotcy at the end.
Side 14 - We had none of the picturesque varieties of situation or costume ; every thing lay on the same dull, prosaic level : in short, we had none of the most obvious elements of poetry: at least so it appeared to the vulgar eye. It required the eye of genius to detect the rich stores of romantic...
Side 57 - Poe," as some have called him, so vastly inferior is his art to his who produced the " Fall of the House of Usher." Brown's excellences are his graphic portrayals of action and his descriptions of wild nature. He had the art of stimulating expectation ; — it is hard to lay down one of his romances unfinished ; one reads on and on in a sort of ghastly dream until at length the end of the book completes the hideous nightmare.

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