The Literature of the Middle Western Frontier - Vol. 1

The Literature of the Middle Western Frontier - Vol. 1

The Literature of the Middle Western Frontier - Vol. 1

The Literature of the Middle Western Frontier - Vol. 1

Excerpt

Almost a century has passed since James Hall, Timothy Flint, and William D. Gallagher attempted to create a literature of the West which should be marked both by excellence of artistic achievement and by a distinctly Western quality. Their failure to realize any large measure of artistic achievement may be granted without debate. There remains, however, the question of whether they and the great number of obscure authors who were their unconscious collaborators did not succeed in creating a body of literature invaluable for the record it contains of the growth of civilization during a unique epoch. The epoch was indeed unique; and its literary expression, with which the present book has to do, is, one may believe, a no less significant memorial of this pioneer era than are the facts of economic and political history which recent writers have so diligently explored.

Upon the literature of the West before the end of the year 1840, the date which I have somewhat arbitrarily chosen to regard as marking the close of the pioneer period, two more or less comprehensive works have already been written -- William T. Coggeshall The Poets and Poetry of the West (1860) and William H. Venable Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley (1891). Coggeshall's book is an anthology with biographical sketches which are for the most part undiscriminating eulogies. Venable's much more notable work, written some thirty years ago, remains a valuable popular miscellany of biographical and critical fact and anecdote. It was my reading of these early chroniclers which first suggested to me the need of such a study as I have here undertaken.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.