Where does the history of american literature start?

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Modernist writers argue that American literaray tradition started with Walt Whitman. On the other hand, Rowlandson's "Captivity Narrative" was the first "bestseller"

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In England, for we were loathe to write as Americans, even after we obtained our independence.

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Our Am. Lit. seems to be borrowed--at first imitating the European writers and then Native American oral tradition