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Cambridge.University.Press.The.American.Puritan.Elegy.A.Literary.and.Cultural.Study.Jun.2000. This page intentionally left blankTHE AMERICAN PURITAN ELEGYJeffrey Hammond’s study takes an anthropological approach to themost popular form of poetry in early New England – the funeralelegy. Hammond reconstructs the historical, theological, and cul-tural contexts of these poems to demonstrate how they respondedto a specific process of mourning defined by Puritan views on deathand grief. The elegies emerge, he argues, not as “poems” to be readand appreciated in a postromantic sense, but as performative scriptsthat consoled readers by shaping their experience of loss in accor-dance with theological expectation. Read in the framework of theirown time and place, the elegies shed new light on the emotionaldimension of Puritanism and the important role of ritual in Puritanculture. Hammond’s book reassesses a body of poems whoseimportance in their own time has been obscured by almost totalneglect in ours. It represents the first full-length study of its kind inEnglish. .  is Professor of English at St. Mary’sCollege of Maryland. He is author of Sinful Self, Saintly Self: ThePuritan Experience of Poetry () and Edward Taylor: Fifty Years ofScholarship and Criticism ().      EditorRoss Posnock, University of WashingtonFounding editorAlbert Gelpi, Stanford UniversityAdvisory boardNina Baym, University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignSacvan Bercovitch, Harvard UniversityRonald Bush, St John’s College, Oxford UniversityAlbert Gelpi, Stanford UniversityMyra Jehlen, Rutgers UniversityCarolyn Porter, University of California, BerkeleyRobert Stepto, Yale UniversityRecent books in the series.  Writing America Black: Race Rhetoric and the Public Sphere.    Imagined Empires: Incas, Aztecs, and the New World of American Literature, –.   Blacks and Jews in Literary Dialogue.  Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian, Inc..   Afrocentrism, Antimodernism, and Utopia.   Blackness and Value: Seeing Double.   Mark Twain and the Novel: The Double-Cross of Authority.   Dos Passos and the Ideology of the Feminine.   Voices of the Nation: Women and Public Speech in Nineteenth-Century American Literatureand Culture.  Freeing the Soul: Race, Subjectivity, and Difference in Slave Narratives.  . Sublime Enjoyment: On the Perverse Motive in American LiteratureTHE AMERICAN PURITAN ELEGYA Literary and Cultural StudyJEFFREY A. HAMMOND         The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom  The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, AustraliaRuiz de Alarcón 13, 28014 Madrid, SpainDock House, The Waterfront, Cape Town 8001, South Africahttp://www.cambridge.orgFirst published in printed format ISBN 0-521-66245-1 hardbackISBN 0-511-03374-5 eBookJeffrey A. Hammond 20042000(Adobe Reader)©For my parentsJeanne Weldon HammondandEvan Ronald Hammond . originalwriters and readers. What Puritans experienced in elegy was, at root, thepower of a cultural myth and the satisfactions of a verbal performancethat allowed. Sublime Enjoyment: On the Perverse Motive in American Literature THE AMERICAN PURITAN ELEGYA Literary and Cultural StudyJEFFREY A. HAMMOND 
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