Experience and Experimental Writing Literary Pragmatism from Emerson to the Jameses by Paul Grimstad is a book published by Oxford University Press.
In this book Grimstad analyzes the classical pragmatism thanks to giants of literature like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville and the Jameses.
We will see how the various authors intended the pragmatism and lived the pragmatism influenced also by philosophical thinkers like Kant, putting their vision in action in their literary works.
Literature is influenced by social, political situations lived by the country. We are in the USA it's 1850 and entire country lives a policy of "I want to stay to myself." There are not a lot of connections with Europe. Washington, NYC and also the most progressive Boston decided to keep themselves to themselves.
The ideas developed from the Old Europe are elaborated under new visions. Self-trust and expansion became the two words more "whispered" if we can use this expression and Lincoln's vision of the world reached the maturity. The USA started to create its identity, after a fratricide war, a new mentality that would have driven all the Americans to feel the pride of "Being American" from NY to California, from Alaska to Tennessee. It wasn't a joke because in the while new sectarianism born in this moment of pride, while Europe thought that the American experiment was a failure, and also religious radicalism started to become stronger.
Industries and the advent of a new and different world created another frictions.
In this context the Humanitarian and the Pragmatism takes place.
For writers it will mean to work intellectually with experience and the experimental writing describing reality in all its complexity.
Mr. Grimstad will analyze the differences between the idea of Cavell, where to him "composition, experiment, attention, search, interest and poetry" all related to giving a complete description of experience compared with the vision of other writers and intellectuals.
Every chapter will be a discovery of very beloved authors. For Henry James for example re-reading his writings still "in motion" meant new experience to be put in words.
Enjoy this book. For scholars, students, teachers interested to learn much more about this cultural movement.
I thanks Oxford University Press for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori