“So many Harvard interiors breathed the New England past—so many Harvard generations!” (284). This is what Elisa New, at one time fully an outsider, found upon immersion in the halls, archives, and classrooms—the intellectual relay stations—of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Now she and her distinguished emeritus colleague, Lawrence Buell, have written complementary works of literary-historical reclamation in which New England calls to us still: New’s is taut, contemplative, and ravishingly proselytizing; Buell’s broadly synthesizing, thought filled, and judicious. With New England beyond Criticism, New turns us inward to an Emersonian expanse of consciousness commanded by “America’s First Literature,” in which interiority is made possible and individuals brought into congregation by contemplation of the Word alone; in prodigiously amplifying close readings, New puts to rout the high-end profession’s longtime refusal to wax enthusiastic about, confess possession by, and realize instruction from the canon. With...

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