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By Olaf Hansen

Addressing very important concerns within the present revision of yank literary reports, Olaf Hansen incorporates out an exposition of yankee writing as a philosophical culture. His huge and comparative view of yankee tradition unearths the significance of the yank allegory as a real creative and highbrow sort and as a different mode of concept really fitted to show the philosophical legacy of transcendentalism. Hansen lines highbrow and cultural continuities and disruptions from Emerson via Thoreau and Henry Adams to William James, paying specified recognition to the modernism of transcendental notion and to its caliber as a sound philosophy in its personal correct. thinking about defining principles of self, selfhood, and subjectivity and with ethical culture as an act of constructing order out of the cosmos, the yank allegory supplied a easy and regularly neglected hyperlink among transcendentalism and pragmatism. Its "suggestive incompleteness" mixed in a hugely dialectic demeanour the essence of either enlightenment and romanticism. characterised neither via absolute objectivity nor via absolute subjectivity, it allowed hypothesis in regards to the that means of truth and approximately humankind's position in a realm of appearances.

Originally released in 1990.

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Example text

LLOYD GOODRICH Thomas Eakins, The Gross Clinic, 1875. From the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia. In 1876 America celebrated the centenary of its own becoming. The fact that Eakins's great painting The Gross Clinic was not included among the works exhibited in the Art Pavilion at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition has been frequently commented upon. But even if the series of great exhibitions and world fairs which rapidly followed one another are interpreted as symbolic events in their own right, one should not expect too much from these high points of cul­ tural and social self-projection; at least not in the realm of intellectual history.

They are the kind of intrusions that confirm the existence of the authentic visual space that they com­ ment upon. Such added iconographical commentaries are not yet part of the unified order of allegorical construction. In other cases it is the obvious self-absorption of the person por­ trayed that we first feel as a form of withdrawal and then interpret as a resistance against pictorial fixation in time. Thus, anticipating a point to which we shall return later, the object of the painter's atten­ tion is exactly where it is—as painted—and it is somewhere else as well, at a place we only know about, because the act of painting has taken place.

Again, this part of the painting can be isolated and put into a his­ torical context that the rest of the painting and therefore the painting as a whole refuses to represent. In many respects the historical back­ ground of The Gross Clinic resembles that of the Dutch tradition of the group portrait, the shuckerstuck. Putting it into this tradition already means a removal from its real source of origin. What Dr. Gross wanted were portraits, done with the commemorative function in mind. "There is one thing which strikes an American in viewing the great literary and scientific and charitable institutions of Europe with admi16 Sylvan Schendler, Eakins (Boston, 1967), pp.

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