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by Catherine Ann Boeckmann
Download A Question of Character: Scientific Racism and the Genres of American Fiction, 1892-1912 (Amer Lit Realism & Naturalism) fb2
History & Criticism
  • Author:
    Catherine Ann Boeckmann
  • ISBN:
    0817310215
  • ISBN13:
    978-0817310219
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    University Alabama Press; First edition (February 8, 2000)
  • Pages:
    248 pages
  • Subcategory:
    History & Criticism
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This period saw the rise of "scientific racism," which claimed that the races were distinguished not solely by exterior appearance but also by a set of inherited character traits. As Boeckmann explains, this emphasis on character meant that race was not only a thematic concern in the literature of the period but also a generic or formal one as well

A Question of Character : Scientific Racism and the Genres of American Fiction, 1892-1912.

A Question of Character : Scientific Racism and the Genres of American Fiction, 1892-1912. by Catherine Boeckmann.

This period saw the rise of "scientific racism", which claimed that the races were distinguished not solely by exterior appearance but also by a set of inherited character traits. As Boeckmann explains, this emphasis on character meant that race was not only a thematic concern in the literature of the period but also a generic or formal one as well

In A Question of Character, Boeckmann asks a very simple but expansive question: "Why does the depiction of racial difference seem to necessitate a discussion of artistic form?" (p. 207).

In A Question of Character, Boeckmann asks a very simple but expansive question: "Why does the depiction of racial difference seem to necessitate a discussion of artistic form?" (p. In answering that question, she collects an interesting cast of characters, including Thomas Dixon, Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Charles Chesnutt, and James Weldon Johnson. All were writers from the late-nineteenth century who worked in a variety of literary genres and who dealt with the question of race

Studies in American Literary Realism and Naturalism series

Studies in American Literary Realism and Naturalism series. GenEthx: Genetics and Ethics Database. The stem cell divide: the facts, the fiction, and the fear driving the greatest scientific, political, and religious debate of our time . Bellomo, Michael (2006). Related Items in Google Scholar.

During the late nineteenth century, science and fiction intertwined in complex ways well beyond Jules Verne's voyages and H. G. Wells's tales of time travel and a war between worlds. Developing in the United States after the Civil War, literary realism directly reflected the scientific temperament of the times-the Enlightenment belief that science was leading the inevitable way to a secular millennium

A Question of Character by Catherine Boeckmann, January 15, 2006, University . A Question of Character.

A Question of Character. Scientific Racism and the Genres of American Fiction, 1892-1912 (Amer Lit Realism & Naturalism). Published January 15, 2006 by University Alabama Press.

Literary realism is part of the realist art movement beginning with ry French literature (Stendhal), and Russian literature (Alexander Pushkin) and extending to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century

Literary realism is part of the realist art movement beginning with ry French literature (Stendhal), and Russian literature (Alexander Pushkin) and extending to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Literary realism attempts to represent familiar things as they are. Realist authors chose to depict everyday and banal activities and experiences, instead of using a romanticized or similarly stylized presentation.

As Donald Pizer notes in his introduction to The Cambridge Companion to American Realism and Naturalism: Howells to London, the term "realism" is difficult to define, in part because it is used differently in European contexts than in American literature. In American literature, the term "realism" encompasses the period of time from the Civil War to the turn of the century during which William Dean Howells, Rebecca Harding Davis, Henry James, Mark Twain, and others wrote fiction devoted to accurate representation and an exploration of American lives in various contexts.

Boeckmann links character, literary genre, and science, revealing how major literary works both contributed to and disrupted the construction of race in turn-of-the-century America. In A Question of Character, Cathy Boeckmann establishes a strong link between racial questions and the development of literary traditions at the end of the 19th century in America. This period saw the rise of "scientific racism," which claimed that the races were distinguished not solely by exterior appearance but also by a set of inherited character traits. As Boeckmann explains, this emphasis on character meant that race was not only a thematic concern in the literature of the period but also a generic or formal one as well. Boeckmann explores the intersections between race and literary history by tracing the language of character through both scientific and literary writing. Nineteenth-century pseudo-sciences such as phrenology and physiognomy had a vocabulary for discussing racial character that overlapped conceptually with the conventions for portraying race in literature. Through close readings of novels by Thomas Dixon, Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Charles Chesnutt, and James Weldon Johnson—each of which deals with a black character "passing" as white—Boeckmann shows how this emphasis on character relates to the shift from romantic and sentimental fiction to realism. Because each of these genres had very specific conventions regarding the representation of character, genres often dictated how races could be depicted.