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Grant number: FT-10728-70

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William C. Spengemann
Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH 03755-1808)

The Influence of the Travel-Narrative on the Classical America Novel

Fellow to complete a book on the influence of the American travel narrative on the classical American novel. Fellow argues that novels like The Scarlet Letter, Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, and The Ambassadors did not derive their uniquely American structure, style and subject matter from European literary sources nor did they spring, full gown, from native American soil without any literary antecedents. Rather, they can be traced back to the travel narratives, beginning with Columbus' "Third Letter to the New World" (1500) and reach artistic maturity in Richard Henry Dana's Two Years Before the Mast (1840). In order to make the necessary connection between the novel and the travel narrative, fellow will show that the latter are in fact literary works as well as factual reports.

Project fields:
American Literature

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$1,500 (approved)
$1,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/1970 – 8/31/1970