New essays on Walden / edited by Robert F. Sayre.

Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
viii, 117 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


Summary note
  • "The American Novel series provides students of American literature with introductory critical guides to the great works of American literature. Each volume begins with a substantial introduction by a distinguished authority on the text, giving details of the work's composition, publication history, and contemporary reception, as well as a survey of the major critical trends and readings from first publication to the present. This overview is followed by a group of new essays, each specially commissioned from a leading scholar in the field, which together constitute a forum of interpretative methods and prominent contemporary ideas on the text. There are also helpful guides to further reading. Specifically designed for undergraduates, the series will be a powerful resource for anyone engaged in the critical analysis of major American novels and other important texts."
  • "New Essays on Walden reviews Thoreau's classic from four important contemporary perspectives. Lawrence Buell explains how decisions at Houghton Mifflin (Thoreau's publisher) around the turn of the century combined with promotion of Thoreau by early Thoreauvians, literary critics, and reviewers to turn Walden into a classic. Nature writer and ecologist Anne LaBastille writes of her own responses to Walden. H. Daniel Peck examines how the pastoralism of Walden serves to contain not only the forces of industrialism and commerce in American society but also psychic forces in Thoreau's inner life. Finally Michael Fischer reevaluates Walden in the light of modern literary theory, finding that Thoreau's forthrightness in presenting and analyzing his own politics disarms his skeptical critics. In introducing these new essays, Robert F. Sayre provides a masterful short biography of Thoreau, an account of the writing of Walden, and a summary of other critical views. The volume will prove useful and appealing to students and professors reading Walden for the first time or for the hundredth time."--Jacket.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references (p. 115-117).
  • Henry Thoreau enters the American canon / Lawrence Buell
  • "Fishing in the sky" / Anne Labastille
  • The crosscurrents of Walden's pastoral / H. Daniel Peck
  • Walden and the politics of contemporary literary theory / Michael R. Fischer.
  • 0521414350 ((hardback))
  • 9780521414357 ((hardback))
  • 0521424828 ((pbk.))
  • 9780521424820 ((pbk.))
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