Article

Making An Example: American Literature As Philosophy

Elizabeth Duquette

in The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730438
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199730438.013.0020

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Making An Example: American Literature As Philosophy

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)
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This article examines the conception of American literature as philosophy. It aims to present a reading of Frederick Douglass's thinking on examples and the philosophical freight they carry, and describes the relevant works of William Wells Brown. The article explores how Douglass navigated concerns about the relationship between theory and example in “Self-Made Men,” and argues that literary critics should be careful to avoid the doctrinaire application of all philosophical ideas and theoretical models.

Keywords: American literature; philosophy; Frederick Douglass; William Wells Brown; literary critics; philosophical ideas; theoretical models

Article.  7179 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century) ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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