By Jesper Gulddal (auth.)
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Extra resources for Anti-Americanism in European Literature
This theme is particularly prominent in “Epistle VIII. To the Honourable W. R. ” Here, Moore begins by conjuring up a vision of Italy, which is celebrated in fairly conventional terms as a land where the poetic spirit of yore has survived until the present day. In Italy, one can still happen on “the ghost of ancient wit” and “the courtly bard,” representatives of the culture of antiquity and the Middle Ages, and in the presence of such characters the modern poet has no difficulty letting himself be inspired by the muses.
Great heaps of indigestible matter melted away as ice before the sun. 46 In one of the last American scenes of the novel, Dickens succeeds in bringing together his two obsessions with American tobacco chewing and American 32 / anti-americanism in european literature eating habits. Onboard a river steamer returning Martin Chuzzlewit from his failed adventure in the wilderness, the young protagonist dines one evening with a rather distinguished group of Americans. ” In America, this is such a common sight that Martin barely notices it, but the table manners of this man do shock him: “This good citizen, burning to assert his equality against all comers, sucked his knife for some moments, and made a cut with it at the butter, just as Martin was in the act of taking some.
17 If Italy is a cultural treasury, then, conversely, the United States is a cultural wasteland. ” No genius has ever wandered in these regions and left a lasting mark. And, owing to this absence of history and cultural traditions, the place is nothing but raw, uncultivated nature. According to Moore, it is precisely history, or rather the cultural capital it accumulates, that imbues a landscape with spirit and makes it poetically fertile. Ideologically, we are far removed from any Rousseau-like celebration of the simple, authentic life in the wilderness.
Anti-Americanism in European Literature by Jesper Gulddal (auth.)