Wieland, or, The Transformation has ratings and reviews. Bill said: How do you judge a writer who has a spark of genius but almost no talent o. : Wieland; or the Transformation and Memoirs of Carwin, The Biloquist (Oxford World’s Classics) (): Charles Brockden Brown, . Wieland; Or, the Transformation – an American Tale by Charles Brockden Brown. Xan Brooks on a year-old novel that provided a map for.
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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Excerpt hcarles Wieland or the Transformation Genius and knowledge command respect; but superior genius and profound knowledge, combined with exalted moral purity, cannot fail to excite unmingled admiration.
The reputation of an author in whom these qualities are united may be circumscribed during life; but its rise and extension after death prove that his claims to distincti Excerpt from Wieland or the Transformation Genius borwn knowledge command respect; but superior genius and profound knowledge, combined with exalted moral purity, cannot fail to excite unmingled admiration.
The reputation of an author in whom these qualities are united may be circumscribed during life; but its rise and extension after death prove that his claims to distinction are well founded. It is no less the duty than the pleasure of friendship to fortify and sustain these claims. The impartiality of criticism cannot but confirm the anticipations of affection. Charles Brockden Brown was the highly-gifted descendant of ancestors originally English, who came over to this country with the wise and benevolent Penn, and landed from the same ship on the banks of the Delaware.
Their principles, moral, religious, and political, coincided with those of their pious and illustrious leader. He derived the additional name of Brockden from his uncle Charles Brockden, so respectfully mentioned by Franklin in his life, who, to avoid the vengeance of conspirators, whose secret conversations he had accidentally overheard, fled to America and settled in Pennsylvania, where his industry and abilities finally raised him to an important office, which he filled with distinguished reputation.
Paperbackpages. Published December 1st by Aegypan first published To see what your friends thought browm this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Wieland, or, The Transformationplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Wieland, or, The Transformation.
Lists with This Book. Oct 07, Bill Kerwin rated it liked it Shelves: How do you judge a writer who has a spark of genius but almost no talent or skill? That’s my wileand with Charles Brockden Brown.
Wieland, or, The Transformation
First the genius part. Brown is credited–fairly I think–with being the United States’ first professional novelist, and it is remarkable how many important American themes are first brought forth here.
A phrase of W. Hawthorne, Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, the spark is here. Well, don’t get your hopes up.
Wieland; Or, the Transformation – an American Tale by Charles Brockden Brown
Brown’s prose style is so poor–imprecise diction, lack charrles sentence variety–and his structural sense is so flawed–unjustified shifts in narrative focus, overly elaborate and implausible explanations of earlier improbable conduct–that reading this novel is frustrating. The last third of the book is concentrated in tone, possessing considerable power, but the work as a whole is poorly executed and unsatisfying.
View all 13 comments. Poor Charles Brockden Brown. While no one would mistake him for a great, forgotten writer, his kooky, early American Gothic style still has its charms, if for no other reason than the completely ape-shit plot devices that he works with.
I feel like a contemporary writer could come along and turn these ideas into a really killer, sprawling sort of book, like Pynchon or Wallace or someone like that. Obviously it’s not fair to c Poor Cjarles Brockden Brown. Obviously it’s not fair to compare someone writing charls the ‘s to someone writing in the second half of the 20th century, but Brown seems interested brrown just stringing together as many weird tropes as he can in pages.
I don’t think that makes for a good novel now, and evidently it didn’t make for a good enough one then to save him from relative obscurity. Still, it’s nice to read something by an early American that’s more darkly psychological than the bland world of James Fenimore Cooper et al. If you’re just rbockden at the mouth to read some early American Lit, go for it. A difficult book to recommend with any confidence. Read this as part of a group read. From an historical perspective it was interesting being an early American book but I found the tale itself hard reading in places.
Very difficult to really enjoy any of the characters on offer although I did enjoy the decidedly Gothic brocksen. Favourite line from the novel Sep 16, Dfordoom rated it really liked it Shelves: American literature scarcely existed in the late 18th century when Charles Brockden Brown made the bold decision to pursue a literary career.
Brown focuses on psychology, and the novel is also a very early example of the psychological thriller. Wieland lives on what seems to be a fairly isolated estate on the Schuylkill River, with his wife and children and his sister Clara who narrates the tale.
His grandfather had succumbed to religious mania and had wie,and what chwrles to all intents and purposes a one-man cult, and had died in mysterious circumstances. Wieland has inherited his religious disposition and his tendency towards melancholy and a gloomy sense of duty.
The little colony is complete by his young ward, and by a much more frivolous young man named Pleyel, hrown young man who seems to be forming a romantic attachment to Clara.
All is well until the arrival of an enigmatic stranger named Carwin, which coincides with a series of odd events involving unexplained voices. These events are slightly unsettling, but are soon overtaken by far more sensational and grisly occurrences. The lack of standard browb trappings is no weakness at all, and Wieland abounds in gothic atmosphere. The religious fanaticism and the cultism give the book a disturbingly modern flavour, and the horrors are far more plausible than those in contemporary English gothic novels such as those of Ann Radcliffe.
Brown adopts a similar approach to Radcliffe towards the supernatural, but with a higher degree of ambiguity. Not all of the mysteries are neatly tidied up, and the true motivations and charlles for the events portrayed retain a certain air of mystery. Wieland remains a disturbing and browb horrifying tale. Essential reading for anyone with any interest at all in the gothic.
Wieland (novel) – Wikipedia
At first, I thought the strangely staccato syntax and the lack of fluency in the discourse browj due to the first person view of Clara Wieland, who is under extreme emotional and mental stress from all those terrible things happening in her family, but it soon became clear that it is the genuine style of Brown himself for the elaborate and mazy passages of introspection are written in the same brocckden vein.
Now, imagine a brofkden woman, who has been driven from her solitary house by a stranger coming from her closet with the intention of raping her, and who, some time afterwards, is lured back there, in the middle of the night, because she wants to retrieve a private journal. Now, once inside her house, that woman for some reason feels compelled to open the closet out of curiosity but at the same time she has a stark hunch of something terrible and dangerous being inside.
Or should I not rather give in to my fear and flee that lonely place? Here, perhaps, was inclosed the source of my peril, and the gratification of my curiosity.
Should I adventure once more to explore its recesses? This was a resolution not easily formed. Be a duck, dear, and explore the recesses of the cupboard in order thereby and thereafter to hand me the salt! It goes on it that style all the time, and never have pages been productive of so complicated syntactic and stylistic horrors for me! This abruptness was altogether involuntary.
Absorbed in reflections of such unspeakable moment, I had no leisure to heed the niceties of punctilio.
And wiealnd, Wieland is not wholly devoid of merit, because after all the story was interesting enough to keep me engaged, and the topic — religious fanaticism with the most disastrous consequences imaginable brought about by more or less innocent manipulation — shows that Brown had a keen eye for the human psyche.
I kept asking myself what a master like Nathaniel Hawthorne or Edgar Allan Poe would have made of the whole thing, and then I thought that Brown should not be run down too much: For a start I like pronouncing his name, and then he might probably have influenced Hawthorne, who would also repeatedly revert to the topic of religious fanaticism, but in a much more enjoyable style.
View all 4 comments. Apr 30, Jon rated it it was ok. If a goth Calvinist with a chaffed ass and marginal writing skills wrote an episode of Scooby-Doo it would closely resemble this dated, moralizing tale, created with cobbled together elements of gothic literature, which unfortunately represents the best of American literature at brockcen infancy.
The introduction to this book, written by a contemporary of Brown’s named Evert A. Duyckinck, was so poorly written I thought it was kook literature penned by a privately wealthy independent book publisher, If a goth Calvinist vharles a chaffed ass and marginal writing skills wrote an episode of Scooby-Doo it would closely resemble this dated, moralizing tale, created with cobbled together elements of gothic literature, which unfortunately represents the best of American literature at its infancy.
Duyckinck, was so poorly written I thought it was kook literature penned by a privately wealthy independent book publisher, which, in retrospect, makes more sense having finished the novel. I have to believe any contemporary praise given to this novel comes only from a place of intellectual sentimentality.
Jul 16, Stacey rated it it was amazing. About twelve or fifteen years ago, in every issue of Entertainment Weekly, they would ask a published author to recommend a book to their readers and explain why they think people should read it. I normally only glanced over every issue because I’m too busy, and most recommendations were are? What caught my attention this time was the black and white photo of the author making the recommendation.
Big, wild, dark eyes stared out of a pale brockde with nine-o’clock About twelve or fifteen years ago, in every issue of Entertainment Weekly, they would ask a published author to recommend a book to their readers and explain why they think people should read it.
Big, wild, dark eyes stared out of a pale face with nine-o’clock shadow, under a tangled mass of crazy dark hair. He looked like a serial killer. He talked about a book he had to read back in college. It was, brocden said, about a guy who befriends a peaceful family in a rural setting and who uses ventriloquism to create all manor of trouble in the isolated household.
He said he could never get it out of his head. I recall ripping out the article, thinking I would check on it later. Years went by and I would think about that book off and on. But, years can really mess with a person’s memory. I was positive the name of the bron was The Ventriloquist and that the antagonist used a dummy. Both fallacious memories that really frustrated my suddenly desperate search.
I had long misplaced or thrown out the original article so I had nothing to bbrown on. I left fantastic descriptions of the story on all the book-freak message boards. Brickden swear browb guy reads so much I fear he just might run out of books.