Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810) wasn’t the first American writer. That was William Hill Brown (no relation), whose The Power of Sympathy (1789) was an epistolary novel imitating Richardson with moral purpose and a satisfying ending of virtue triumphant. Then there was Susanna Rowson. Her Charlotte Temple (1790), was America’s first bestseller, another fine moral tale of a young woman choosing virtue and so (again) triumphing. (more…)
Tag: American culture
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As a European, I was taught to dislike Americans from a young age. In school, and through cultural osmosis, a young European is taught to look down on these cultureless, backwards savages with their guns, their Christian dogmatism, their unrefined tastes, their consumerism, their obesity, and their racism. (more…)
It’s a tragic thing watching a great nation splinter itself to death. I wonder if it can even be helped? The strong, brilliant center of American culture, which was established and then defended for so long by those of European descent, now appears to the world like the yolk in a cracked egg. Either it’s still whole or it’s rotten . . . we won’t know for sure till Humpty Dumpty has his great fall.
Once upon a time, we were the dominant culture, derived from the waves of Northern European settlers who had come to the New World to break the land and hew a civilization out of a savage landscape. (more…)