Studies in Classic American Literature
Studies in Classic American Literature is a seminal work of literary criticism by the English writer D. H. Lawrence. It was first published by Thomas Seltzer in the USA in August 1923. The British edition was published in June 1924 by Martin Secker.
The book is divided into twelve chapters. The authors discussed include Benjamin Franklin, Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Richard Henry Dana, Herman Melville, and Walt Whitman.
Lawrence's work is startling, even revolutionary, for several reasons. The prose style is extremely informal, yet filled with penetrating psychological and moral insights. The themes running through Lawrence's criticism are his concern with the primacy of the individual spirit and his belief in the importance of love, for better or for worse, as a force in human affairs.
Lawrence's work is generally credited with contributing to the restoration of Herman Melville as a seminal figure in American literature.
- Studies in Classic American Literature (1923), edited by Ezra Greenspan, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-521-55016-5
- The Symbolic Meaning: The Uncollected Versions of Studies in Classic American Literature, edited by Armin Arnold, Centaur Press, 1962
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- Studies in Classic American Literature from American Studies at the University of Virginia.
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