By Jesper Gulddal (auth.)
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Extra resources for Anti-Americanism in European Literature
They threw about their limbs with such incessant and violent motion, that I was every instant expecting some serious accident to occur [ . . ] Hysterical sobbings, convulsive groans, shrieks and screams the most appalling, burst forth on all sides. 57 According to Trollope, such hysteria is not only sickening, it also amounts to a ruthless exploitation of the naïve young women. ”58 Such desire lurking behind a veil of piety is by no means to be found only among fanatics on the frontier. 60 For Trollope, religion in the United States is something purely exterior.
As is often the case with anti-American literature, Moore’s epistles can best be described as catalogues of stereotypical observations; in fact, they include all the main motifs of Romantic anti-Americanism, hence also the 24 / anti-americanism in european literature idea of the United States as a country without history and culture. This theme is particularly prominent in “Epistle VIII. To the Honourable W. R. ” Here, Moore begins by conjuring up a vision of Italy, which is celebrated in fairly conventional terms as a land where the poetic spirit of yore has survived until the present day.
The striking uniformity of Romantic anti-Americanism is in part due to the fact that the European writers of this period were culturally and ideologically predisposed to react negatively toward certain aspects of American life. ” Their belief that art was man’s most noble pursuit made the Americans seem a disappointingly practical people, while the idea that the worth of nations and cultures could be measured by their age inevitably led to a low estimation of the United States. Finally, the Romantics attached great importance to respectability and polished manners, and this caused them to perceive the less refined Americans as rude barbarians.
Anti-Americanism in European Literature by Jesper Gulddal (auth.)