Nonfiction > Carl Van Doren > The American Novel > Subject Index > Page 9
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · SUBJECT INDEX

Carl Van Doren (1885–1950).  The American Novel.  1921.


Page 9

of the traveler and the novelist as about equally his models appears from his preface, upon which the fame of The Algerine Captive principally depends. In 1787, it should be remembered, he had produced our earliest comedy, The Contrast, opposing to foreign affectations the rustic worth of the first “stage Yankee.” Now ten years later he renewed his demand for nativism, while pointing out that the status of fiction had greatly changed in the interim. Formerly, he says, “books of Biography, Travels, Novels, and modern Romances, were confined to our sea ports; or, if known in the country, were read only in the families of Clergymen, Physicians, and Lawyers; while certain funeral discourses, the last words and dying speeches of Bryan Shakeen, and Levi Ames, and some dreary somebody’s Day of Doom, formed the most diverting part of the farmer’s library.” But “no sooner was a taste for amusing literature diffused than all orders of country life, with one accord, forsook the sober sermons and Practical Pieties of the fathers, for the gay stories and splendid impieties of the Traveller and the Novelist. The worthy farmer no longer fatigued himself with Bunyan’s Pilgrim up the ‘hill of difficulty’ or through the ‘slough of despond’; but quaffed wine with Brydone in the hermitage of Vesuvius, sported with Bruce on the fairy land of Abyssinia: while Dolly, the diary [sic] maid, and Jonathan, the hired man, threw aside the ballad of the cruel stepmother, over which they had so often wept in concert, and now amused themselves into so agreeable a terrour, with the haunted houses and hobgoblins of Mrs. Ratcliffe [sic], that they were both afraid to



CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · SUBJECT INDEX
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors