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The Resource River of dreams : imagining the Mississippi before Mark Twain, Thomas Ruys Smith, (electronic resource)

River of dreams : imagining the Mississippi before Mark Twain, Thomas Ruys Smith, (electronic resource)

Label
River of dreams : imagining the Mississippi before Mark Twain
Title
River of dreams
Title remainder
imagining the Mississippi before Mark Twain
Statement of responsibility
Thomas Ruys Smith
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
Even in the decades before Mark Twain enthralled the world with his evocative representations of the Mississippi, the river played an essential role in American culture and consciousness. Throughout the antebellum era, the Mississippi acted as a powerful symbol of America's conception of itself -- and the world's conception of America. As Twain understood, "The Mississippi is well worth reading about." Thomas Ruys Smith's River of Dreams is an examination of the Mississippi's role in the antebellum imagination, exploring its cultural position in literature, art, thought, and national life. Presidents, politicians, authors, poets, painters, and international celebrities of every variety experienced the Mississippi in its Golden Age. They left an extraordinary collection of representations of the river in their wake, images that evolved as America itself changed. From Thomas Jefferson's vision for the Mississippi to Andrew Jackson and the rowdy river culture of the early nineteenth century, Smith charts the Mississippi's shifting importance in the making of the nation. He examines the accounts of European travelers, including Frances Trollope, Charles Dickens, and William Makepeace Thackeray, whose views of the river were heavily influenced by the world of the steamboat and plantation slavery. Smith discusses the growing importance of visual representations of the Mississippi as the antebellum period progressed, exploring the ways in which views of the river, particularly giant moving panoramas that toured the world, echoed notions of manifest destiny and the westward movement. He evokes the river in the late antebellum years as a place of crime and mystery, especially in popular writing, and most notably in Herman Melville's The Confidence-Man. An epilogue discusses the Mississippi during the Civil War, when possession of the river became vital, symbolically as well as militarily. The epilogue also provides an introduction to Mark Twain, a product of the antebellum river world who was to resurrect its imaginative potential for a post-war nation and produce an iconic Mississippi that still flows through a wide and fertile floodplain in American literature. From empire building in the Louisiana Purchase to the trauma of the Civil War, the Mississippi's dominant symbolic meanings tracked the essential forces operating within the nation. As Smith shows in this groundbreaking work, the story of the imagined Mississippi River is the story of antebellum America itself
Member of
Cataloging source
Midwest
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1979-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Smith, Thomas Ruys
Dewey number
810.9/3277
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
dictionaries
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
hoopla digital
Series statement
Southern literary studies
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Electronic books
  • American literature
  • American literature
  • Mississippi River
  • United States
  • United States
Target audience
adult
Label
River of dreams : imagining the Mississippi before Mark Twain, Thomas Ruys Smith, (electronic resource)
Link
Instantiates
Publication
Distribution
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Color
multicolored
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
unknown
Extent
1 online resource
Form of item
online
Governing access note
Digital content provided by hoopla
Isbn
9780807143087
Isbn Type
(electronic bk.)
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
c
Publisher number
MWT11801032
Specific material designation
remote
Stock number
11801032
System control number
(MWT)MWT11801032
System details
Mode of access: World Wide Web
Label
River of dreams : imagining the Mississippi before Mark Twain, Thomas Ruys Smith, (electronic resource)
Link
Publication
Distribution
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Color
multicolored
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
unknown
Extent
1 online resource
Form of item
online
Governing access note
Digital content provided by hoopla
Isbn
9780807143087
Isbn Type
(electronic bk.)
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
c
Publisher number
MWT11801032
Specific material designation
remote
Stock number
11801032
System control number
(MWT)MWT11801032
System details
Mode of access: World Wide Web

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