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Crain, Caleb. AMERICAN SYMPATHY: MEN, FRIENDSHIP, AND LITERATURE IN THE NEW NATION. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 320 pages. Fine/Fine.

Book-length account on subject. One of the ground-breaking and most valuable books on American literary culture ever published. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only by a University Press. The First Edition is now very scarce. Presents Caleb Crain's book on the relation between emergent American literature and male friendship. "In the history of friendship in early America, Caleb Crain sees the soul of the nation's literature. In a sensitive analysis that weaves together literary criticism and historical narrative, Crain describes the strong friendships between men that supported and inspired some of America's greatest writing: The Gothic novels of Charles Brockden Brown, the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the novels of Herman Melville. Crain demonstrates the many ways in which the struggle to commit feelings to paper informed the shape and texture of American literature" (Publisher's blurb). The beauty of Crain's narrative-argument lies in its duality: It is about the homo-eroticism of masculine friendships, recounted by the author with grace and subtlety. Homo-eroticism is not homosexuality; indeed, it precludes the latter. At the same time (and having done his homework), Crain also shows, compellingly, the undeniably homosexual strain, however deeply repressed and sublimated, in American literature. The works of Herman Melville and Ralph Waldo Emerson (as well as Walt Whitman) are not "period pieces" of early American literature. These are very great, transcendent writers whose achievements remain immensely influential. They have not been superseded much less surpassed by their modern counterparts. An absolute "must-have" title for Caleb Crain and American literature collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed, dated, and placed in black pen on the title page by the author: "Caleb Crain 22 Sept 2013 NYC". Crain also crossed out his printed name. Laid-in are pristine copies of the Souvenir Program and Bookmark of the Brooklyn Book Festival 2013, during which the author's signature was obtained. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of very few such signed and dated copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Beware: Many copies available online have serious flaws. A rare signed copy thus. One of the most brilliant living American writers. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER CALEB CRAIN TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0300083327. $80.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on March 26, 2017.