Modern Day Acceptance of Rip Van Winkle

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Thesis: "We continue to hold Rip in such high esteem because he is a failure that succeeds and because his failure indicates something about us that we can face only indirectly. That he gets away with failure is a great relief" (Ferguson 529).
Quote: "The device forces the reader into a game of levels—levels that confuse but also protect us from our worst fears and thoughts.  For although Rip’s failures are evident, he manages to solve problems that we cannot solve" (Ferguson 529).
This quotation surprised me mainly because I never thought of "Rip Van Winkle" as a game of any sort.  This certainly is an interesting approach to realizing that Rip is the same as we realistic humans are.

Ferguson, Robert A. "Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture." Early American Literature 40.3 (2005): 529-544. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Web. 25 Oct. 2010.

Thesis: "His exile to Europe, and his gradual retreat from the forceful engagement with the unfinished republic which characterized his early writing, were a telling commentary on the darker side of Jefferson’s political optimism" (Pollard 81-82).
Quote: "Before proceeding to this, a word is necessary about certain underlying problems confronting American literature, and Irving as a practitioner of it, in the early republic" (Pollard 82).
This quote was especially enlightening because of the mention of Irving being a practitioner of confronting American literature in terms of cultural differences.

Pollard, Finn. "From Beyond the Grave and Across the Ocean: Washington Irving and the Problem of Being a Questioning American, 1809-20." American Nineteenth Century History 8.1 (2007): 81-101. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO. Web. 25 Oct. 2010.

Thesis: "This, at any rate, long constituted the standard view, which described Irving’s work not as “timeless, but temporal” and cast Irving himself as “a man of his time rather than for all time,” belonging “to an outdated phase of culture,” “too remote to engage twentieth-century sensibilities"" (Insko 605).
Quote: "Washington Irving has been a casualty of chronology" (Insko 605).
This quote was interesting because I never realized why the historian of "Diedrich Knickerbocker" was created to present the story of Rip Van Winkle.  It certainly makes one wonder why Irving did not want anyone to know that it was a fictional work created by himself.

Insko, Jeffrey. "Diedrich Knickerbocker, Regular Bred Historian." Early American Literature 43.3 (2008): 605-641. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Web. 25 Oct. 2010.


To me, literary academia is very important, because in studying the works further in-depth allows for us to discover qualities to the works that we may not have come across in the first place.  As a student in a 200-level literature course, the process of literary research is especially important, because, regardless of what field of study we follow after graduation, research is always going to help us in the long run.  Right now, particularly, this is of importance because of the need for research in other classes as well.

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This page contains a single entry by Alexi J. Swank published on October 25, 2010 3:32 PM.

Educated vs. Uneducated, The Slave Belongs Where? was the previous entry in this blog.

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