Great importance for the development of American literature and critical realism was the activity of the romanticist Washington Irving. When it comes to the literature of American Romanticism, his name is called one of the first. He is rightly considered the founder of American fiction, the father of an American novel. Irving is the first American novelist to have won European fame. This is the first romanticist who was nominated by American literature. At that time, it was just beginning to acquire its own national identity. And it was to the generation of romantics that it was an honor to win international recognition by American literature.
In modern Irving America, there have been great changes. Uncertainty was everywhere. This required an artistic rethinking. A new hero was needed – an ideal being, highly moral, passionate, charming, and free from public vices. In real life, there was no hero, he had to be an abstraction, a dream of the beautiful, the fair, and the true. Irving succeeded in solving this problem – he was a pioneer, he developed a novel, a favorite genre of American writers.
Irving’s first book destroyed the idea of America as a country capable only of producing material values, and completely sterile in the sphere of spiritual values. Nevertheless, it is quite obvious that America, as a young state, did not have such a history and such cultural traditions as Europe possessed, that is, there was a lack of national culture. This prompted the Romantics to create paintings that reflect the national identity of European and Eastern peoples, penetrate the cultural, historical and spiritual world of exotic countries. Consequently, America’s romanticism has the same historical background and aesthetic basis as the European one: attention to the inner world of a man; the principle of romantic two-world – romantics affirm the idea of imperfection of the real world and oppose the world of their imagination; interest in folklore – one of the forms of protest against the prose of everyday bourgeois existence becomes the idealization of European antiquity; full creative freedom of the artist. American romantics began to vigorously consider the traditional foundations of English prose, which was facilitated by the appeal to the material of national life, romanticists mixed abstract essays with a specific description of the essay, picturesqueness of landscapes with the dynamism of the plot of national legends.
American romantics developed the best that was in European culture, and at the same time they studied American history and the thinking, psychology, and character of Americans.
Great importance for the development of American literature and critical realism was the activity of the romanticist Washington Irving. When it comes to the literature of American Romanticism, his name is called one of the first. He is rightly considered the founder of American fiction, the father of an American novel. Irving is the first American novelist to have won European fame.