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Ethnicity and Cultural AuthorityFrom Arnold to Du Bois$
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Daniel G. Williams

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748622054

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622054.001.0001

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Realism, Ethnicity and the Nation

Realism, Ethnicity and the Nation

Chapter:
(p.72) Chapter 2 Realism, Ethnicity and the Nation
Source:
Ethnicity and Cultural Authority
Author(s):

William Dean Howells

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622054.003.0003

This chapter presents a reconstruction of William Dean Howells's cultural thought and considers the challenges faced by his aesthetic theory, studying the potentially divisive forces of racial and linguistic differences and the tension between the aesthetically transcendent and socially committed conception of the man of letters. It also reveals a tension between two different views of literature, determining that Howells's conception of realism is the literary manifestation of ‘culture’ which he shared with Matthew Arnold.

Keywords:   cultural thought, aesthetic theory, William Dean Howells, racial differences, linguistic differences, man of letters, views of literature, realism, culture

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