In this third segment of “Poetic Perplexities: Emerging Visions of Global Empitre?”, a continuing series on The Alembic Files, J.Q. Useless joins A.L. Aric to explore the perplexing life and career of Philip Freneau, the late 18th/early 19th century poet, sea captain, journalist, newspaper editor and friend or associate of many of the founding fathers, including Madison and Jefferson.
Freneau, who is reputed among some literary critics as “the father of American poetry,” is of particular interest to the general subject matter of The Alembic Files because he is also purported to have been “the Anti-Federalist poet.” By examining the content of selected poems of Freneau in the context biographical information and the surrounding historical milieu, A.L. and J.Q. explore the notion that Freneau may have been something quite different.
Is it even accurate to characterize Freneau, an early sympathizer with the French Revolution, as an Anti-Federalist at all? If so, we are arguably looking at a form of Anti-Federalism very different from what those who study The Anti-Federalist Papers are familiar with–especially given Freneau’s engagement with Jacobinism which, at the peak of the French Revolution, led to a powerful state regime that prefigures many of the characteristics of the totalitarian systems that emerged in the 20th century.
- Podcast #5: J.Q. Useless Guest Appearance on The Alembic Files with A.L. Aric (uselesseatersinstitute.wordpress.com)
- Podcast #4: J.Q. Useless Guest Appearance on The Alembic Files with A.L. Aric (uselesseatersinstitute.wordpress.com)
- The Anti-Federalist Papers (malpartisan.wordpress.com)