Ashes of the Mind
War and Memory in Northern Literature, 1865-1900
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Table of Contents
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A number of people made important contributions to Ashes of the Mind along the way, most of which remain as unpaid debts on my part. The list must begin with Barbara Packer and Michael North at UCLA,who always had both a sympathetic ear and an exacting eye for the project, and who continued to be generously available for intellectual and ...
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The broad theme of this book is the literature of Civil War memory in the North from 1865 to 1900 in the shape of works by five authors who can be described as Northerners by virtue of birthplace, upbringing, and cultural identity. Four were adults during the Civil War, two older (James Russell Lowell and Herman Melville) and two younger, one of whom ...
Chapter 1. Cambridge Interiors: Lowell’s Commemoration Ode
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Two poems of moderate langth, each remembered in a different way and mirroring the rise and fall and rise of its respective author's literary reputation, appeared in the months immediately following the end of the Civil War. James Russell Lowell read the first version of his "Ode Recited at the Harvard Commemoration, July 21, 1865," on the date memorial-...
Chapter 2. A Strange Remorse: Melville and the Measure of Victory
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The publication of Herman Melville's collection of Poetry Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War in August 1866, almost ten years after his last work of fiction, The Confidence-Man, had appeared, was not the same kind of ceremonial unveiling that James Russell Lowell's commissioned piece had enjoyed. There was certainly no equivalent commemorative and com-...
Chapter 3. The Road from Memorial Hall: Memory and Culture in The Bostonians
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Henry James’s first substantial artistic engagement with matters of nation, division, and memory — and his last until the “Richmond” chapter of The American Scene in 1907 — appeared almost twenty years after the end of the Civil War.1 Later still is his reference to James Russell Lowell's Harvard Commemoration Ode — a text that James returned to read ...
Chapter 4 - Bierce and Transformation
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The fiction writer who seemed to be haunted by the memory of the Civil war to a greater degree than any other of his generation was Ambrose Bierce. For Bierce, this condition was not a matter of a contaminated political legacy or the fear of a morally dysfunctional national ...
Chapter 5. Paul Laurence Dunbar: Memory and Memorial
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From the double-edged approbation of William dean Howells's introduction to Paul Laurence Dunbar's first substantial collection of poetry, Lyrics of Lowly Life, in 1896, through Langston Hughes's confidently ambiguous reference to a "major (albeit minor) poet" in his 1966 essay "Two Hundred Years of American negro Poetry" to Henry Louis ...
Coda: Long Road
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pp. 209- 220
Why memory? The question is worth raising. As I argue throughout this book, literary texts are a form of memory that walks a thin line between the subjectivities of individual experience (and their imaginative reinterpretation) and the public dynamics of collective memory and commemorative politics. Some of that argument is explicit, but much of ...
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Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2009