This essay was first published in Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations, Volume 10.1.
Essay Topics and Keywords:
Washington Irving, Rip van Winkle, Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, John Kerr's Rip Van Winkle, “˜national drama”, literary nationalism, James Kirke Paulding.
An extract from this essay:
"Writing for the American Quarterly Review, in June 1827, James Kirke Paulding called for a new kind of American drama. A playwright himself, and a veteran combatant in the war of words between British and American critics, Paulding wanted to see “˜a national drama” that would “˜appeal“¦directly to the national feelings“¦displaying a generous chivalry in the maintenance and vindication of those great and illustrious peculiarities of situation and character, by which we are distinguished from all other nations”. Within a year, Rip Van Winkle was performed for the first time in a US theatre, in the New York town of Albany; other versions played in Cincinnati during 1828 and 1829, and in Philadelphia in October, 1829. The first Rip Van Winkle play to be published was by John Kerr, c.1829, and while its title—Rip Van Winkle—came courtesy of Washington Irving, its subtitle—A National Drama—owed more to J. K. Paulding. Rip Van Winkle has been described by critics as an “˜almost instant cultural icon for an emerging American nation” “¦"
About the author
The author lives in London