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The Meaning of Rivers: Flow and Reflection in American Literature
In the continental United States, rivers serve to connect state to state, interior with exterior, the past to the present, but they also divide places and peoples from one another. These connections and divisions have given rise to a diverse body of literature that explores American nature, ranging from travel accounts of seventeenth-century Puritan colonists to magazine ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by University Of Iowa Press
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McMillan analyses the cultural and symbolic uses rivers, particularly as pertains to American literature and the negotiations of place, time, and consciousness. Individual chapters examine how rivers are overlooked, what it means to be by a river, to travel up river, to travel down river, to cross a river, and to travel up and back down. Texts considered range from early American explorers to the twenty-first century, with prominent 19th century presence in Emerson, Twain, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," ...more
Literature , that is, great American poems and novels ...life on the mississipi, of course...uncle tom's cabin, ... Crossing Brooklyn ferry... And rivers. Not so much about books about rivers as asking how writing about rivers engages us with how writing becomes meaning, matters to us.