Popular Views of the Savage

Ter Ellingson

in The Myth of the Noble Savage

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520222687
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925922 | DOI:
Popular Views of the Savage

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The existence of extensive scholarship on the Noble Savage in literary fiction allows one to see how problematic the concept is. On the one hand, it would be surprising if the writers of a “romantic” age had not romanticized “savages,” as they did all the other subjects of their books. On the other hand, we need to look carefully at the extent to which their treatments of particular “savage” characters did or did not support ennobling generalizations about man in a state of nature. This chapter considers a single novelist who, perhaps more than any other literary figure, has become associated with the myth of the Noble Savage. The name of the French novelist François-Auguste-René de Chateaubriand appears over and over again as a kind of ongoing background motif for many of the literary investigations of the Noble Savage theme.

Keywords: Noble Savage; de Chateaubriand; savage; romanticism

Chapter.  11092 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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