Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Love a Good Setting , Part 4

As we watch summer days pass this week into the lushness of autumn, I look forward to cooler weather and the changing colors against the dark blue sky. At school, this change also means we have passed through America's beginnings in literature - Native American wisdom; early settlers' diaries, journals, songs, poems, and sermons; and Benjamin Franklin's moral perfection outline in his autobiography.

Now we welcome America's Literary Nationalism (1800 to 1840), influenced by the Romantic Movement and the youthful optimism of a new nation. We discover native themes and American locales. We await the storytelling genius of both Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe.

Our autumnal setting, here and there, is hence perfect for a rich American harvest. Now is the time for a look into the past and present at the place of the psychological narrative - our "ghost" stories - in the American literary tradition.

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