Elliott demonstrates how America's first men of letters--Timothy Dwight, Joel Barlow, Philip Freneau, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, and Charles Brockden Brown--sought to make individual genius in literature express the collective genius of the American people. Without literary precedent to aid them, Elliott argues, these writers attempted to convey a vision of what America ought to be; and when the moral imperatives implicit in their writings were rejected by the vast number of their countrymen they became pioneers of another sort--the first to experience the alienation from mainstream American culture that would become the fate of nearly all serious writers who would follow.
Used. Good condition. Some wear and tear. Minor damage to the spine of the book. Price marked in pencil by previous seller.