By Jesper Gulddal (auth.)
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Extra info for Anti-Americanism in European Literature
For those dreams sublime, Which all their miracles of light reveal To heads that meditate and hearts that feel? No, no—the muse of inspiration plays O’er every scene; she walks the forest-maze, And climbs the mountains; every blooming spot Burns with her step, yet man regards it not! 18 American nature is undoubtedly pretty and varied, but because it is not permeated with historical spirit, it lacks all inspiring, ennobling qualities—it is just nature. What is worse, this absence of spirit reduces the people inhabiting this landscape to barbarians.
The country experienced the second of the great waves of revivalism that has swept the country at regular intervals. Like most outbursts of religious fervor, this “Second Great Awakening” originated in a desire to return to a strict, fundamentalist interpretation of the Holy Writ. At the same time, it was driven by a frenzy of religious enthusiasm, which was expressed and further reinforced at so-called camp meetings, that is, religious rallies where large crowds gathered to hear the great preachers of the day— and to pray, dance, and sing themselves into a state of religious ecstasy.
From this perspective, Moore turns to the United States of the early nineteenth century, representing it as the rude and exceedingly prosaic antithesis of Italy. ” and further accentuated by the way in which Moore describes the United States entirely in terms of privations: But here, alas! 17 If Italy is a cultural treasury, then, conversely, the United States is a cultural wasteland. ” No genius has ever wandered in these regions and left a lasting mark. And, owing to this absence of history and cultural traditions, the place is nothing but raw, uncultivated nature.
Anti-Americanism in European Literature by Jesper Gulddal (auth.)