Chapter

Interchapter Finally Shall Come the Poet: On the Interface of the Two Cultures

in The Passage to Cosmos

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780226871820
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226871844 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226871844.003.0005
Interchapter Finally Shall Come the Poet: On the Interface of the Two Cultures

Show Summary Details

Preview

Humboldt became iconic in the Americas by putting them both literally and metaphorically at the center of the world map. To writers in the United States, the crucial question of “Who we are” meant addressing who we once were—variously English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Scottish, Amerindian, African; who we are in the dynamic global circle of nations; and who we were becoming, once we had joined and completed that international circle, linking East with West, making the globe into one. This chapter offers a “broad reading” that sketches patterns and connections, a Humboldtian “physiognomy” of the American literature which took shape while Humboldt was at the height of his power and influence. From this conceptual hilltop, one can see American writers working to bring into being an America that would mark a difference between “Old World” and “New”.

Keywords: Alexander von Humboldt; American literature; American writers

Chapter.  11282 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.