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The Genius of John Neal

Selections from his Writings


Benjamin Lease and Hans-Joachim Lang

Although E.A. Poe had recognized the genius of John Neal (1793-1876) and although H.L. Mencken believed that Neal might have been the most important American literary critic of his time, his contribution to American literature has been overshadowed by the performances of those authors he blazed trails for - Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain -. The first comprehensive Neal anthology reveals the dynamism by which, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the USA started with their emancipation from the European literary tradition.