Irving Washington, The History of New York

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Irving Washington was born in 1783 in New York into a large family where he was the youngest of eleven children. He started his career from a law office feeling that it was a job not to his heart content. Being light-hearted and sardonic in his nature he attempted to write for the journal of his brother Peter called “The Morning Chronicle”. Later Irving and Peter thought of creating a high-quality literary mockery. Originally the text intended nothing else but a satire upon the “Picture of New York” by Dr. Samuel Mitchell whose text was rather boastful of erudition and pedantry; however, it turned out to be different from the original perspective broadening the scope of interpretative thinking over to history and philosophy as two great narratives. The text was published December 6, 1809 in New York when Irving Washington was 26 and brought him considerable critical acclaim. Worth mentioning are the two timelines: the actual historical timeline of the story which embraces the first two decades of the XVII century. Literary selection suggested revolves around a historical episode of purchase of New York (namely Manhattan Island) from the Indians and further life of the Dutchmen. In 1626 Peter Menuit arrived at the colony called New Amsterdam to govern as well as take part in educational and religious activities of the settlers. The first priority for the governor to realize was a purchase of the Island of Manhattan. The estimated sum of transaction was twenty-four dollars, which Irving Washington calls “a measure almost unparalleled in the annals of discovery and colonization” (Tuttleton, 1993, p. 209-212). The second timeline is actually tangible through the author’s voice within the frame of narration, as he comes from two... ... middle of paper ... ...he other side of the conflict is never articulated, thus suppressed, kept silent and, therefore, eliminated, which makes the entire concept of conflict as a productive means of history. Irving Washington wrote the text looking back two centuries. Apart from being a satire it deconstructs the concept of history by devaluation of the conflict via removal of one of its constituents or dehumanization of it which is one of the main implied themes of the story. Works Cited Aderman, Ralph. M. Critical Essays on Washington Irving. // John G. Lockhart. Review of Knickerbocker’s History of New York. G.K. Hall & Co., 1990. P. 50. Irving, Washington. A History of New York: Washington Irving: History, Tales and Sketches. NY: the Library of Congress, 1983. P. 449-55. Tuttleton, James W. Washington Irving: the Critical Reaction. AMS Press, 1993. P. 209-212.

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