Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"Strange American scion of the German trunk": Charles Brockden Brown and the Americanization of the gothic novel
by Smith, Dorin, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 161; 1527344
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis recontextualizes the politics of Charles Brockden Brown's gothic novels in terms of the literary development of Gothicism (Friedrich Schiller) and Romanticism (Friedrich Schlegel) in Germany. This recontextualization highlights the ways in which Brown's work is participating in a transatlantic conversation about the relation of epistemology and politics in art, while underscoring how Brown's use of the gothic addresses the vital issues of grounding democratic politics in the early republic. The argument is that between his earliest extant gothic novel and his later gothic novels Brown uses Schiller's model of the gothic tale and its appeal to methodologies of epistemological verification to support democratic politics. However, in the later novels, he disregards method and uses the state of uncertainty to articulate radical subjectivity as the basis of democratic politics—pace Schlegel's defense of democracy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gilmore, Paul
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Comparative literature, Epistemology, American literature
Keywords: Brockden brown, charles, Early republic, Epistemolgy, Gothic, Schiller
Publication Number: 1527344
ISBN: 978-1-303-76619-0
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