Nineteenth-Century Prose

Articles from Vol. 23, No. 2, Fall

A Pig upon the Town: Charles Dickens in New York
Abstract Little attention has been given to the New York chapter of American Notes (1842), but I believe that the whole of this much maligned book becomes more legible if we consider how Dickens sought to represent America's foremost city. In New...
Categorizing American Notes: Dickens as New Journalist
Abstract After his trip to America in 1842, Dickens published American Notes and received extensive critical response. Investigating the generally negative reactions and the reasons for them allows late-twentieth-century readers a glimpse into Dickens'...
Charles Dickens' Stormy Crossing: The Rhetorical Voyage from Letters to American Notes
Abstract For his book American Notes, which recounts his travels in the United States in 1842, Charles Dickens used as source material his familiar letters home to such friends as John Forster. If one compares passages from American Notes with their...
Claiming Truth: Dickens and American Notes
Abstract Dickens' insistence on the "truth" of American Notes began before publication and carried on through the preface to the cheap edition eight years later. He was understandably wary that he might be accused of falsity or slander by the American...
Dickens in Eden: The Framing of America in American Notes
Abstract His polemic against slavery aside, Dickens' negative reaction to the United States is based on his inability to "order" the American wilderness according to British ideas of nature as a domesticated space. Operating out of a Romantic notion...
Eternity and the Tired Child: The Voices in Emerson's "Immortality"
Abstract Emerson's late essay, "Immortality," has had a troubled textual history, but as it has come down to us in the Centenary Edition, it employs a rhetorical strategy that is typically Emersonian. In a masterful use of dialectic the text counterpoints...
Raging on the Heath: Carlyle and the Fictions of Dialogue
Abstract Anyone justifying the study of Carlyle today must come to terms with the "other Carlyle"--not the Victorian Sage of Sartor Resartus but the reactionary demagogue of "Occasional Discourse on the Nigger Question." In some ways, however, the...
"True Art Speaks Plainly": Theodore Dreiser and the Late Nineteenth-Century American Debate over Realism and Naturalism
Abstract Theodore Dreiser's brief but significant 1903 essay "True Art Speaks Plainly" draws upon the central issues present in over twenty years of debate in America on the social and ethical nature of realism and naturalism. In particular, Dreiser...