The Literature of Connecticut

The Literature of Connecticut

The Literature of Connecticut

The Literature of Connecticut

Excerpt

The first significant group of American men of letters took form in the state of Connecticut. The Connecticut Wits (or the Hartford Wits), as they were called, have diminished in stature since their halcyon period at the close of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth, but they still live, in two ways. They remain historically important in American literature as pioneers; and they reflect memorably the modes and criteria of their epoch. In such a study as this, the Wits should, therefore, be mentioned first of all. Although a critic has made the amusing comment: "If these were the wits of Connecticut, what were the other members of the community?"; although, almost immediately, other groups arose and outshone them, notably in Philadelphia, New York, Cambridge, and Concord; although their influence was often more political and social than belletristic; they were, nevertheless, the first closely knit coterie of men with literary talent in America. Before them and after them, in Connecticut, in spite of the appearance of talented individuals, there was disunity. Only during their brief moment can one speak accurately of a literature of Connecticut.

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