American Literature
日期:2010-09-11 附件下载:

Section One: Early American Literature
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the vast continental area that was to become the United States had been probed only slightly by English and European explorers. At last early in the seventeenth century, the English settlements in Virginia and Massachusetts began the main stream of what we recognize as the American national history.
 
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the vast continental area that was to become the United States had been probed only slightly by English and European explorers. At last early in the seventeenth century, the English settlements in Virginia and Massachusetts began the main stream of what we recognize as the American national history.
The forms of early American literature:
1)Early American literature begins with the orally transmitted myths, legends, tales, and lyrics of Indian cultures.
2)There was no written literature among the more than 500 different Indian languages and tribal cultures that existed in North America before the first Europeans arrived. However, American literature was not based on native Indian culture. It was a descendant of European literature.

I. The Literature of Exploration
In the 17th century, pirates, adventurers, and explorers opened the way of permanent colonists, bringing their wives, children, farm implements, and craftsmen's tools. The early literature of exploration, made up of diaries, letters, travel journals, ships' logs, and reports to the explorers' financial backers -- European rulers or, in England and Holland, joint stock companies -- gradually was supplanted by records of the settled colonies. Because England eventually took possession of the North American colonies, the best-known and most-anthologized colonial literature is English. As American minority literature continues to flower in the 20th century and American life becomes increasingly multicultural, scholars are rediscovering the importance of the continent's mixed ethnic heritage. Although the story of literature now turns to the English accounts, it is important to recognize its richly cosmopolitan beginnings.

II. New England Literature
It is likely that no other colonists in the history of the world were as intellectual as the Puritans. Between 1630 and 1690, there were as many university graduates in the northeastern section of the United States, known as New England, as in the mother country -- an astounding fact when one considers that most educated people of the time were aristocrats who were unwilling to risk their lives in wilderness conditions. The self-made and often self-educated Puritans were notable exceptions. They wanted education to understand and execute God's will as they established their colonies throughout New England.
The Puritan definition of good writing was that which brought home a full awareness of the importance of worshipping God and of the spiritual dangers that the soul faced on Earth.