An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

By Theodore Dreiser

The vintage depiction of the cruel realities of yank lifestyles, the darkish facet of the yank Dream, and one man's doomed pursuit of affection and success...

"Mr. Dreiser isn't imitative and belongs to no institution. he's at middle a mysticist and a fatalist, although utilizing the practical procedure. he's, at the proof of this novel by myself, a power." —The big apple occasions publication evaluation

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Moreover, Irving's The Sketch Book had important sources in the essays of Addison and Steele; Bryant's poetry had important sources in Wordsworth; and Cooper's novels had important sources in Scott. Cooper objected to being INTRODUCTION 7 termed the "American Scott," but the label would ultimately have been viewed as testimony to his novelistic mastery. For the most part, American writers of this time had a sophisticated understanding of their relationship to British and other literary traditions and would have regarded as nonsense the idea that they were expected to create a completely separate American literature.

Nevertheless, it is important to underscore that the era has a real existence of its own in literary terms: the authors in this anthology often were in conversation with one another; their world was relatively small and the number of instances of direct and indirect influences, counterinfluences, productive friendships, productive rejections of influences and friendships, and so on, are stunning. Sedgwick read Cooper's Last of the Mohica1JS and wrote a "response" in Hope Leslie, emphasizing the domestic and cross-racial possibilities in ways she thought Cooper did not.

Just about all of the women writers represented in this anthology made an important mark in the periodical culture of the time, and some used their connections to magazines and newspapers to develop as professional authors who were able to live on earnings from their writings. Child, Fuller, Fern, and Rebecca Harding Davis all had newspaper columns, and Fern was paid lavishly for hers. Kirkland edited the New York Union and wrote for other magazines; Child and Fuller also served as editors of journals; Stowe and Louisa May Alcott got their starts writing sketches and short stories for regional newspapers.

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