Ashes of the Mind: War and Memory in Northern Literature, 1865-1900

TitleAshes of the Mind: War and Memory in Northern Literature, 1865-1900
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsGriffin, Martin
Number of Pages284
PublisherUniversity of Massachusetts Press
CityAmherst
Abstract

The memory of the American Civil War took many forms over the decades after the conflict ended: personal, social, religious, and political. It was also remembered and commemorated by poets and fiction writers who understood that the war had bequeathed both historical and symbolic meanings to American culture. Although the defeated Confederacy became best known for producing a literature of nostalgia and an ideological defensiveness intended to protect the South's own version of history, authors loyal to the Union also confronted the question of what the memory of the war signified, and how to shape the literary response to that individual and collective experience. In Ashes of the Mind, Martin Griffin examines the work of five Northerners―three poets and two fiction writers―who over a period of four decades tried to understand and articulate the landscape of memory in postwar America, and in particular in that part of the nation that could, with most justification, claim the victory of its beliefs and values.

Short TitleAshes of the Mind
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229308933

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