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26 June, 2013
Outlines of English and American Literature|
by Long, William J.
|The interest aroused by Harte's mining-camp tales influenced other American
writers to discover the neglected literary wealth of their several
localities; but they were fortunately on guard against Harte's exaggerated
sentimentality and related their stories with more art and more truth to
nature. As a specific example read Cable's Old Creole Days and
Madame Delphine with their exquisite pictures of life in the old
French city of New Orleans. These are romances or creations of fancy, to be
sure; but in their lifelike characters, their natural scenes and soft
Creole dialect they are as realistic (that is, as true to a real type of
American life) as anything that can be found in literature. They are, in
fact, studies as well as stories, such minute and affectionate studies of
old people, old names and old customs as the great French novelist Balzac
made in preparation for his work. Though time holds its own secrets, one
can hardly avoid the conviction that Old Creole Days and Madame
Delphine are not books of a day but permanent additions to American