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American Bloomsbury (2006)

de Susan Cheever

Outros autores: Louisa May Alcott (Featured Artist), Ralph Waldo Emerson (Featured Artist), Margaret Fuller (Featured Artist), Nathaniel Hawthorne (Featured Artist), Henry David Thoreau (Featured Artist)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
6553335,943 (3.44)42
"Even the most devoted readers of nineteenth-century American literature often assume that the men and women behind the masterpieces were as dull and staid as the era's static daguerreotypes. Susan Cheever's latest work, however, brings new life to the well-known literary personages who produced such cherished works as The Scarlet Letter, Moby-Dick, Walden, and Little Women. Rendering in full color the tumultuous, often scandalous lives of these volatile and vulnerable geniuses, Cheever's dynamic narrative reminds us that, while these literary heroes now seem secure of their spots in the canon, they were once considered avant-garde, bohemian, types, at odds with the establishment." "Far from typically Victorian, this group of intellectuals, like their British Bloomsbury counterparts to whom the title refers, not only questioned established literary forms, but also resisted old moral and social strictures. Thoreau, of course, famously retreated to a plot of land on Walden Pond to escape capitalism, pick berries, and ponder nature. More shocking was the group's ambivalence toward the institution of marriage. Inclined to bend the rules of its bonds, many of its members spent time at the notorious commune, Brook Farm, and because liberal theories could not entirely guarantee against jealousy, the tension of real or imagined infidelities was always near the surface." "Susan Cheerer reacquaints us with the sexy, subversive side of Concord's nineteenth-century intellectuals, restoring in three dimensions the literary personalities whose work is at the heart of our national history and cultural identity."--BOOK JACKET.… (mais)
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I found this book incredibly disappointing. The structure was impossible discern and there were so many obvious gaps in the portraits of the people in question. Cheever shifted back and forth in time in ways that made no sense, but made me feel as though she had cut the manuscript up in the middle of each paragraph and then pasted them together. There were so many paragraphs that literally were two discrete trains of thought merged together that I ended up rereading passages multiple times just to make sure I wasn't missing something. Also annoying was Cheever's heav-handed insertion of her own personal philosophies into the book, philosophies that were either trite or poorly constructed or both. ( )
  lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
I'm not a big biography reader, but this book was OK - kind of lightweight maybe but I guess it suited me. I enjoyed learning more about the Transcendentalists and Concord. Very short chapters and disjointed, but somehow that was fine with me. ( )
  steve02476 | Jan 3, 2023 |
I really enjoyed this fascinating book wanted to know more about Thoreau
( )
  mgallantfnp | May 26, 2022 |
Cheever's narrative style is fairly direct and clear, neither hagiographic nor skeptical.
The book suffers from the defects of the multi-person-biography sub-genre, in that the threads of the story get tangled with jumping around from person to person and year to year, sometimes going backwards.

The stories themselves were a fascinating view of the intermingled private lives of so many famous writers and others in a condensed time and place.

In addition to the main characters, there are also appearances by Melville, Longfellow, Whitman, and the Brownings, as well as passing references to many other celebrities of the period, American and European.

The most interesting incident to me was that Louisa May Alcott was pressured into writing "Little Women" by her publisher, and did not relish the assignment at all.
I confess to having no knowledge of Margaret Fuller at all; her insinuation into the family relationships of the others is not featured in high school English classes.

A good companion to "A Summer of Hummingbirds" by Christopher Benfrey, about the other major group of American celebrities of the 19th-century (Beechers, Dickinsons, and others). ( )
  librisissimo | May 20, 2019 |
Re-reading this because I loved it and I wanted to hear it again. Bronson Alcott is still a complete narcissistic lunatic. He's lucky that his daughters turned out as well as they did. ( )
  amylee39 | Jul 16, 2018 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 33 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Cheever, SusanAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Alcott, Louisa MayFeatured Artistautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Emerson, Ralph WaldoFeatured Artistautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Fuller, MargaretFeatured Artistautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hawthorne, NathanielFeatured Artistautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Thoreau, Henry DavidFeatured Artistautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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excerpts from the Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau
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"Even the most devoted readers of nineteenth-century American literature often assume that the men and women behind the masterpieces were as dull and staid as the era's static daguerreotypes. Susan Cheever's latest work, however, brings new life to the well-known literary personages who produced such cherished works as The Scarlet Letter, Moby-Dick, Walden, and Little Women. Rendering in full color the tumultuous, often scandalous lives of these volatile and vulnerable geniuses, Cheever's dynamic narrative reminds us that, while these literary heroes now seem secure of their spots in the canon, they were once considered avant-garde, bohemian, types, at odds with the establishment." "Far from typically Victorian, this group of intellectuals, like their British Bloomsbury counterparts to whom the title refers, not only questioned established literary forms, but also resisted old moral and social strictures. Thoreau, of course, famously retreated to a plot of land on Walden Pond to escape capitalism, pick berries, and ponder nature. More shocking was the group's ambivalence toward the institution of marriage. Inclined to bend the rules of its bonds, many of its members spent time at the notorious commune, Brook Farm, and because liberal theories could not entirely guarantee against jealousy, the tension of real or imagined infidelities was always near the surface." "Susan Cheerer reacquaints us with the sexy, subversive side of Concord's nineteenth-century intellectuals, restoring in three dimensions the literary personalities whose work is at the heart of our national history and cultural identity."--BOOK JACKET.

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