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Why a National Literature Cannot Flourish in the United States of North America   By:

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In "Why a National Literature Cannot Flourish in the United States of North America" by Joseph Rocchietti, the author presents a thought-provoking analysis of the factors that hinder the emergence of a distinct national literature in the United States. While the book's title might seem discouraging at first, its content offers a fresh perspective on the complexities of cultural dynamics in a diverse nation.

Rocchietti's argument is supported by extensive research and presents a compelling case for his thesis. He argues that the cultural, linguistic, and historical diversity within the United States acts as a constraint on the development of a singular national literary tradition. The author skillfully dissects various factors, such as regionalism, immigration, and the English language dominance, which contribute to this lack of a cohesive literary identity.

One of the book's strongest aspects is Rocchietti's ability to provide historical context to his argument. He effectively traces the historical development of American literature and examines how the absence of a shared national experience has influenced its trajectory. Through meticulous analysis, he highlights the influence of different immigrant communities and the conflicts arising from the nation's diverse cultural heritage.

Moreover, Rocchietti doesn't limit his analysis to mere observation; he explores potential remedies to the issue he identifies. By incorporating comparative references to other countries and regions, he offers alternative perspectives on how a national literature could be cultivated. These insights provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities involved in this subject matter.

However, despite its merits, the book does have some limitations. The author's writing style, at times, can be overly academic and convoluted, making it challenging for casual readers to engage fully with the text. Additionally, Rocchietti's emphasis on the lack of a national literature might overshadow the tremendous creative output and diverse voices present within American literature. More balanced exploration of these aspects could have added further nuance to his argument.

In conclusion, "Why a National Literature Cannot Flourish in the United States of North America" is an intellectually stimulating and well-researched book that sheds light on an often overlooked aspect of American literary history. Joseph Rocchietti's insightful analysis dissects the complex cultural dynamics at play and provides valuable insights into the reasons behind America's fragmented literary landscape. While the book is not without its flaws, it serves as a valuable contribution to the broader discussion on the formation of national literature and offers readers new perspectives on the subject.

First Page:

WHY A NATIONAL LITERATURE CANNOT FLOURISH IN THE UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA

BY JOSEPH ROCCHIETTI

Celui qui n' a égard en écrivant qu' au goùt de son siècle, songe plus à sa personne qu' à ses écrits. Il faut toujours tendre à la perfection; et alors cette justice qui nous est quelquefois refusée par nos contemporains, la postérité sait nous la rendre.

La Bruyère.

NEW YORK PRINTED BY J. W. KELLEY, 424 BROADWAY 1845.

AMERICAN GENIUSES.

For your welfare, may your country listen to my feeble voice, prosper with your prosperity, and the eagle of liberty spread throughout the world.

JOSEPH ROCCHIETTI.

NEW YORK, the first of 1845.

WHY A NATIONAL LITERATURE CANNOT FLOURISH IN THE UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA.

CHAPTER I.

THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES IS NOT A NEW PEOPLE.

Many americans, and a few foreigners, think that America is yet too young a country for possessing a National Literature. If they intend to say, that the number of classical writers of America, cannot yet compete with the number of classical writers of any old country, of course, it cannot be otherwise. But, that the living present americans cannot have an equal number of writers, as the living old nations, for no other reason, but because this nation is a new one, is what I deny... Continue reading book >>




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