Read e-book online American Terror: The Feeling of Thinking in Edwards, Poe, PDF

By Paul Hurh

ISBN-10: 0804791147

ISBN-13: 9780804791144

If the USA is a kingdom based upon Enlightenment beliefs, then why are such a lot of of its so much celebrated items of literature so darkish? American Terror returns to the query of yank literature's detailed tone of terror via an in depth learn of 3 authors—Jonathan Edwards, Edgar Allan Poe, and Herman Melville—who not just wrote works of terror, yet who defended, theorized, and championed it. Combining up to date ancient views with shut examining, Paul Hurh exhibits how those authors built terror as a distinct literary impact knowledgeable incidentally the idea that of pondering turns into, within the wake of Enlightenment empiricism, more and more outlined by way of a suite of austere mechanic methods, similar to the medical procedure and the algebraic features of analytical good judgment. instead of looking for a sense that might go beyond pondering through subtending cause to emotion, those writers present in terror the sensation of pondering, the strange feeling of reason's authority over emotional schemes. In so doing, they grappled with a shared set of tolerating questions: what's the distinction among pondering and feeling? once we comprehend whatever, how can we be aware of that we all know it? Why does it appear most unlikely to cause oneself out of an irrational worry? And what turns into of the liberty of the desire once we observe that is affecting can push it around?

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Additional resources for American Terror: The Feeling of Thinking in Edwards, Poe, and Melville

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From Edwards to Poe to Melville—three writers who felt a similar pull to analyze the methods of mind through forms of feeling—this book charts the development of the “powers of blackness” in American litera- 30 INTRODUCTION ture against the development and abstraction of method as the formal mode of philosophy. The arc of my study follows the history of an idea—that terror is the special feeling of objective truth—as it emerges in Edwards’s logic-based hellfire, is schematized in Poe’s materialist aesthetics of formal horror, and finally coalesces in the dread of Melville’s portrait of inhuman subjectivity.

Noyes had, according to Davenport, assuaged the fears of a woman who had deep convictions of her own sinfulness, had “deadened” the passions of awakened persons with his preaching, and had suggested that a view of one’s own sinfulness is easily accomplished (3). Davenport’s accusations, along with Noyes’s responses, were recorded and the informal gathering prepared to adjourn. What happened next might best be described as prayer-crashing. According to witnesses, Davenport began praying aloud: “[W]ithout any Notice given, while divers in the Room were talking loud, and Â�others smoking and some with their Hatts on, he began a Prayer, but there being so much Noise in the Room he was hardly heard at first, many kept on talking, others cryed out stop him, the Rev.

Perry Miller, who in the middle of the twentieth century probably did the most to secure Edwards in the literary canon, initially saw Edwards as laced through and through with terror, writing: “[T]he terror he imparted was the terror of modern man, the terror of insecurity” (Jonathan Edwards 147). In the early 1980s, Norman Fiering tempered the claim, suggesting that Edwards’s obsession with terror is, on the surface at least, incompatible with the personality that emerges from his less fiery work: “How could a man as deeply sensitive and tender as he appears to have been, .

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American Terror: The Feeling of Thinking in Edwards, Poe, and Melville by Paul Hurh


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