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By Maurice S. Lee

Studying the literature of slavery and race sooner than the Civil warfare, Maurice Lee, during this 2005 booklet, demonstrates how the slavery hindrance turned a hindrance of philosophy that revealed the breakdown of nationwide consensus and the boundaries of rational authority. Poe, Stowe, Douglass, Melville, and Emerson have been one of the antebellum authors who attempted - and failed - to discover rational options to the slavery clash. not able to mediate the slavery controversy because the country moved towards warfare, their writings shape an uneasy transition among the convinced rationalism of the yank Enlightenment and the extra skeptical considered the pragmatists. Lee attracts on antebellum ethical philosophy, political idea, and metaphysics, bringing a unique viewpoint to the literature of slavery - person who synthesizes cultural experiences and highbrow heritage to argue that romantic, sentimental, and black Atlantic writers all struggled with modernity whilst dealing with the slavery drawback.

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20 Slavery, Philosophy, and American Literature Poe’s first production was “Metzengerstein,” a story that speaks to sectional tensions. ” In the antebellum era, hunting and horsemanship were standard features of the southern cavalier; and by 1831 the South was depicted as a passionate, feudal, failing place. In such writings as Pym, “The Man That Was Used Up” (1839), “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Gold-Bug” (1843), Poe exploits this regional stereotype, showing both fealty and resentment toward a South (and an adopted father) that was for him an occasional home in which he never felt welcome.

This may be so, though such claims seem stronger the further Poe advances in his career. 24 Joan Dayan, “Poe, Persons, and Property,” in Romancing the Shadow, 121. Absolute Poe 25 Count Berlifitzing, which can explain the animal’s human intelligence and vindictive drive. This makes for a fairly totalized tale of crime and retribution in which Poe uses a spiritualist gimmick to invoke a fantastic cheap thrill. Yet Poe’s allusion to metempsychosis is neither simple nor cheap. Nineteenth-century spiritualism, including animal magnetism, mesmerism, and metempsychosis, put forth laws that governed the workings of spirit in the material world.

Hackforth (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1952), 69. In a later, related formulation of double consciousness, “Fate” (1860), Emerson more explicitly invokes the two horses of the Phaedrus. Absolute Poe 31 By eliding potentially determinative evidence with disclaimers and narrative gaps, “Metzengerstein” refuses to settle the metaphysical status of its steed. This has the familiar Poe effect of collapsing dualisms as the horse-shade remains both subject and object, both spirit and matter, both human and beast.

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