A concise companion to American fiction, 1900-1950 by Peter Stoneley, Cindy Weinstein

By Peter Stoneley, Cindy Weinstein

An authoritative consultant to American literature, this better half examines the experimental kinds, socio-cultural alterations, literary routine, and significant authors of the early twentieth century. This significant other presents authoritative and wide-ranging counsel on early twentieth-century American fiction.

  • Considers more often than not studied authors corresponding to Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway, along key texts of the interval via Richard Wright, Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, and Anzia Yezierska
  • Examines how the works of those diversified writers were interpreted of their personal day and the way present readings have elevated our realizing in their cultural and literary importance
  • Covers a extensive diversity of subject matters, together with the 1st and moment international Wars, literary language modifications, writer big name, the city panorama, modernism, the Jazz Age, the good melancholy, regionalism, and African-American fiction
  • Gives scholars the contextual details priceless for formulating their very own reviews of vintage American fiction

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Throughout the chapter, Adams manages to describe the scientific discoveries on display at the Great Exposition in Paris with cool detachment but also to render the turbulence of his emotional state. “Force,” as Adams represents it, is the source of revolutionary power, a turning from one world order (the spiritual order of the Old World epitomized by the Virgin) to another (the technological world of scientific discovery represented by the Dynamo). The “historian,” Adams’s self-nomination, can grasp the outlines of this shift, but only in the crudest of terms.

In a complex and powerful discussion of “Modernism’s History of the Dead,” Michael Szalay tests out different ways of defining the concept of “modernism” through the work of Hemingway and Eliot. He observes the idea that, in modernism, form and content become 11 Introduction indistinguishable. As Clement Greenberg noted of the Abstract Expressionist painters, the work of art is “about” the paint and canvas. In such elitist, avant-garde work, the intention is not to express a self, but to explore the possibilities of the medium.

A black butler whom Sutpen thinks of as a “monkey nigger” tells him to go to the back door. Sutpen then realizes that, in spite of his whiteness, his relative poverty makes him akin to the other back-door people – slaves – and this “crisis” inspires Sutpen’s subsequent determination to rise. However, to confuse the butler with a monkey is to invoke a Darwinian idea of evolution, with the black man representing an earlier stage of existence. But this is also to suggest that Sutpen himself is evolved from – fathered by – the black man.

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