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New England Against America

Friday, March 3, 2017 1:37
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The Fiction of Mr. Simms gave indication, we repeat, of genius, and that of no common order. Had he been even a Yankee, this genius would have been rendered immediately manifest to his countrymen, but unhappily (perhaps) he was a Southerner His book, therefore, depended entirely upon its own intrinsic value and resources, but with these it made its way in the end.— EDGAR ALLAN POE

A review of Long Years of Neglect: The Work and Reputation of William Gilmore Simms, edited by John Caldwell Guilds. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. 1988, 248 pages.

In the heroic effort to establish an American literature, intellect, and culture before the Civil War, the main line of tension was not between cosmopolitans and provincials, nor between classicists and romanticists. It was regional. But the primary regional dividing line was not drawn, as you may think, along the Appalachians (East vs. West), nor along the Potomac (North vs. South). Rather, it was at the Hudson River (New England vs. America).


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