Chapter

Realism, Ethnicity and the Nation

William Dean Howells

in Ethnicity and Cultural Authority

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780748622054
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651993 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622054.003.0003
Realism, Ethnicity and the Nation

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This chapter presents a reconstruction of William Dean Howells's cultural thought and considers the challenges faced by his aesthetic theory, studying the potentially divisive forces of racial and linguistic differences and the tension between the aesthetically transcendent and socially committed conception of the man of letters. It also reveals a tension between two different views of literature, determining that Howells's conception of realism is the literary manifestation of ‘culture’ which he shared with Matthew Arnold.

Keywords: cultural thought; aesthetic theory; William Dean Howells; racial differences; linguistic differences; man of letters; views of literature; realism; culture

Chapter.  20024 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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