Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker: With Related Texts

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Then at the end he's all, "Hm. Well, I hope this brief letter finds you well, honey. It's pages and pages and has taken me weeks and weeks! Would you look at that? I had a really hard time automatically assuming the Indians were all bad guys. It's an assumption that readers in the s automatically made. Such an ugly bloody bloody past you have. I really liked the scary panthers in it and the crazy lady in the woods, Queen Mab. Man, it was gorey. I have more I could say about it, but I should probably read my brother-in-law's chapter about it first and hear what he had to say I certainly can understand the harsh criticism of modern readers, and I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone I know, but it has earned its place in the literary portfolio, and it's clear the influence Brown had on other, more successful writers who followed.

Aug 27, Heidi rated it liked it. My husband and I have a famous quote concerning this book, "Just get to the damn tree already. I'll be honest and say that I'm grateful I read it.

Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker

Dec 10, Jon rated it it was amazing. A book with knickers, sleepwalking, and killer Indians?!

If you have the mind of a year old like I do, try and find me a better book. This is seriously a creepy psychological book, with a severely unreliable narrator that will certain confuse the hell out of you if you are not careful. Every time I picked up this book, it felt like I was reading a different narration and hence I drowned in my growing confusion as I tried to figure out what the heck just happened.

Lots of stuff happens of course, I just got lost along the way unfortunately.


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This is an epistolary novel. Besides that, this is one heck of a messed up story--apparently the entire thing was written as a LETTER yes all ish worth of pages of this is. It involves sleep-walking, murder, gore, mayhem, drama-llama-esque plotting--the whole shebang. Either way, this is a nice touch of the Gothic to delve into--thankfully my class today made it easier for me to understand what happened when reading this. Called forth by imminent dangers, our efforts frequently exceed our most sanguine belief.

Jul 23, Selena rated it liked it Shelves: I think the idea of the "Great American Novel" has been one eluding writers in this country since the nation began attempting to form its own independent identity. I don't, by any means, think that Brown has hit the mark with Huntly, but what he does is something remarkable in its own right.

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Its with books like Edgar Huntly or Wieland which, I have to admit, I liked a lot better that you can actually trace the beginnings of American Literature, not British writers who came to America for some I think the idea of the "Great American Novel" has been one eluding writers in this country since the nation began attempting to form its own independent identity. Its with books like Edgar Huntly or Wieland which, I have to admit, I liked a lot better that you can actually trace the beginnings of American Literature, not British writers who came to America for some peace and quiet, but a writer whose sensibilities are formed by experiences, hopes and desires that are formed here.

The gothic idea is really reformed here and I find that meaningful. Be that as it may, anyone who knows me has heard me say that there are very few American writers who I care about at all, and its true, on a personal level, this is not where my literary heart lies. Something I'm going to keep at the front of my bookcase to read dozens of times over? May 30, Cheryl rated it liked it. Edgar Huntly is a very strange book that contains sleepwalking, Indians, panthers, and lots of death.

It's entertaining but is overly descriptive and rather weird. However, if you're interested in studying "the other" in early American literature, this is an excellent book to read. Feb 15, Christian rated it liked it Shelves: The Gothic elements are so intentionally overdone that it gets hilarious pretty quick.

I had to read this for a class. Brown is clearly one of those authors who was paid by the word. He tells rather than showing. The novel is as boring as ditchwater. It's racist, unimaginative, and did I mention boring? If you aren't required to read this, don't.

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Too slow for me. The author focuses on artistic depictions of scenes rather than advancing the plot, but he's just not a good enough writer to make his scenes come to life or evoke much depth of feeling. The book has its merits, but overall it was frustrating to read. The cover of my edition is pretty sweet. It's got a skull on it. It's a pity there's no version with the skull on the cover, because it's pretty sweet.

Oh, the book sucked. I liked it, but I need to reread it to decide how much.

Edgar Huntly or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker by Charles Brockden Brown

A weird, subtle, and complex novel. Jan 25, Fiona rated it it was ok. It was good but the slow parts were very slow and the fast parts were still pretty slow. Dec 11, Luke Sisson rated it it was amazing. It's really bad but I love it so much. Sep 08, Jeff rated it really liked it. As bizarrely sublime as only true Gothic can be, and as nationalistic and didactic as only a member of the Friendly Club can be. I don't think it's as good as Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist but it's a heckuva romp.

I added this book to my to-read list after reading The Monk, and seeing it mentioned in the foreword as another example of a Gothic novel. So, of course, I expected it to be, you know, Gothic. Instead, what I found was a book that had some Gothic leanings, but was mostly long-winded and rambling and took a long time to get to the point.

I suppose I should grant it some leeway, since it was published in , but The Monk was published just three years earlier, got to the point faster, and was a I added this book to my to-read list after reading The Monk, and seeing it mentioned in the foreword as another example of a Gothic novel. I suppose I should grant it some leeway, since it was published in , but The Monk was published just three years earlier, got to the point faster, and was a much easier read. This book contains some of the most stilted language I've ever read. It was natural to suggest to my friend, when expatiating on this theme, an inquiry as to how far subsequent events had obliterated the impressions that were then made, and as to the plausibility of reviving, at this more auspicious period, his claims on the heart of his friend.

In other words, "Dude, she doesn't like you. Did this guy get paid by the word or something? The novel starts out with the narrator, Edgar, explaining who he is. Then we get the next section, where he confronts the guy he saw digging under the tree, named Clithero. I kept reading this character's name with the break between the T and the H. In the next section, we get another interminable description of who Clithero is. Then we get some adventure, as Edgar pursues Clithero into a cave on one of his sleepwalking jaunts. There's some back-and-forth throughout, as Edgar has to keep returning home, and later Edgar finds himself in the caves, lost, in the darkness, and starving.

The story picks up, and it's easier to manage Brown's melodramatic narrative, which takes us through to the end of the novel. The thing is, between the time when he follows Clithero into the caves, and later finds himself lost in the same caves, he runs across a guy named Weymouth who says that Waldegrave was holding money for him. He has no proof of any of his claims, though the evidence supports it, and Edgar believes him. I get the feeling Brown is trying to show Edgar as a generous, honorable character, but the interaction is random, and doesn't serve the story at all.

There are some redeeming features of the story: Edgar is an unreliable narrator, which adds a layer of interest; Native Americans are referred to by Edgar as "savages", when Edgar is the one who kills them; and it seems to be a parallel to life in early America after the Revolutionary War.

‪Dad's Reaction to his Sleepwalking Video‬

Unfortunately, the novel is a bit of a chore to read, it repeats itself quite a bit, and it takes too long to get going. It's certainly a book that's better suited for analysis than entertainment, which makes it an odd book to recommend to a casual reader.

Edgar Huntly or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker

While I don't mind stories that engender analysis, what I look for in a novel above all is story, and the one in Edgar Huntly isn't sufficient enough to entertain. Another book in the I-guess-this-was-ok-or-at-least-interesting-to-discuss-in-class 18th century American lit series. Technically an epistolary novel, if you count pages of one long, narrative "letter" followed by three super short letters as an epistolary novel. Barnard and Shapiro's selection of related texts from works including William Godwin's Political Justice and Brown's essays gives students insight on Edgar Huntly's sources.

Charles Brockden Brown is an important figure in Gothic literature, credited with writing one of the first American Gothic novels. He was born in Pennsylvania to a Quaker family and originally trained to become a lawyer. Unable to apply the Gothic European settings of crumbling castles to America, he relocated his tales to rural locales, but maintained the same chilling atmosphere within his stories.

This edition provides students with the tools to contextualize and analyze Edgar Huntly, including an extensive bibliography of relevant scholarship and footnotes that define unfamiliar words, give historical background, or refer the reader back to the introduction. Barnard and Shapiro's selection of related texts from works including William Godwin's Political Justice and Brown's essays gives students insight on Edgar Huntly's sources. However, this edition does not include the one text that was originally published together with Edgar Huntly: Brown's short story, "The Death of Cicero.

The relationship between men that "The Death of Cicero" portrays as well as Cicero's support for the Roman republic against the empire make this story relevant to interpreting Edgar Huntly's social and political views. The fact that we are potentially reading a different book from the one that was published for eighteenth-century readers points out the need to bring publication history to bear on how we choose related texts. Barnard and Shapiro's edition of Edgar Huntly significantly expands the approaches to this text [End Page ] for students, but it also raises questions about the construction of the textual artifact that students and scholars use as evidence.

Yvette Piggush is a Ph. Her dissertation project examines romantic culture in the United States between and Yale University Press, , 1: If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.