At the flip of the final century, as routinized business exertions made a mockery of the gospel of labor, american citizens more and more sought success no longer at the activity yet of their rest actions. This booklet explores the a number of and, every now and then, contradictory tensions surrounding this flip to play and examines their impression on 19th- and early-twentieth-century American literature. Arguing that American writers participated within the ongoing debates over exertions and relaxation extra strenuously than is often understood, the writer exhibits how literary narratives either spoke back to and assisted in shaping the rising gospel of play.
Richly grounded in social, political, and fiscal historical past, this e-book demonstrates the ways in which discussions of rest engaged the main urgent problems with the age: immigration, women's rights, public well-being, race family, mass tradition, and maybe most crucial, the character and which means of labor itself. the place turn-of-the-century activity reformers estimated play because the revivifying substitute to fashionable labor's attack at the self, American writers from Henry David Thoreau to Zora Neale Hurston stumbled on that imaginative and prescient too deeply indebted to the very process it sought to fix. The deadly flaw of play conception, those writers insisted, was once its dedication to an ideology of reasonable play and teamwork drawn no longer from the spirit of the playground yet from the construction- and profit-minded ethos of company capitalism.
Broad in scope and process, and established via a sequence of unique and illuminating pairings of texts and authors—including Thoreau and Mark Twain, Abraham Cahan and Ole Rölvaag, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Edna Ferber, James Weldon Johnson and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Theodore Dreiser and Richard Wright, and William Faulkner and Hurston—this publication bargains a big new course for the research of work, relaxation, and representation.