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Tales of Adventurous Enterprise: Washington…

Tales of Adventurous Enterprise: Washington Irving and the Poetics of…

by Peter Antelyes

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"Adventurous enterprise," a phrase that first appeared in an 1834 guidebook to the American West, points to a merger of literature and the marketplace that helped shape many Americans' perceptions of westward expansion throughout the nineteenth century. Western adventure tales, with their heroes and villains, their motifs of exploit and exploitation, became so popular a form for the expression of the contemporary ideals of American economic enterprise that they acquired the cultural centrality of a genre, the "tale of adventurous enterprise."… (more)

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