Ruined Eden of the Present: Hawthorne, Melville and Poe - Critical Essays in Honor of Darrel Abel

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A recurrent idea in Darrel Abel's criticism of the works of Hawthorne gives this volume its title. The idea of a fallen world and its potential for partial redemption through art and the art of criticism is a theme that weaves in and out of the sixteen essays. The volume as a whole displays an explicit and implicit concern with critical approaches and reflects an awareness of the Activeness of critical resolutions in a world in which boundaries are constantly under challenge, for example, those which divide textuality from contextuality. This collection of essays explores the problems the practical critic and teacher has had to face in the shifts in taste, assumptions, and methodology in the moves from moral and historical criticism to the New Criticism, and to the newer linguistic and semiotic criticism.