Theodore Dreiser Revisited Philip L. Gerber

ISBN: 9780805719345

Published: June 28th 2010

ebook

188 pages


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Theodore Dreiser Revisited  by  Philip L. Gerber

Theodore Dreiser Revisited by Philip L. Gerber
June 28th 2010 | ebook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 188 pages | ISBN: 9780805719345 | 7.44 Mb

In his life and in his work Theodore Dreiser was nothing if not genuinely American. True to the American dream, he overcame a childhood characterized largely by its impoverishment - material, social, educational, and emotional - to attain a largeMoreIn his life and in his work Theodore Dreiser was nothing if not genuinely American. True to the American dream, he overcame a childhood characterized largely by its impoverishment - material, social, educational, and emotional - to attain a large measure of success. The territory of his novels is often the territory of his childhood: life unadorned in the great industrial cities of early modern America.

In Theodore Dreiser Revisited, Philip Gerber argues that Dreisers life is woven ... inextricably into his novels. Like Dreiser, many of his characters struggle to escape their meager, often shabby existences, but generally with much less success than their creator. Dreiser identified with the ordinary man and woman of the early twentieth century.

He depicted their position as the tiniest of cogs in the colossal American industrial machine with unflinching realism, making him a herald of literary naturalism. In this revised and expanded edition of his earlier effort, Gerber places Dreiser at the very brink of the naturalist tradition. He traces the influence of its progenitor, Emile Zola, on the short-lived American writers Stephen Crane and Frank Norris, and shows Dreiser to be the only American writer of note to pursue the naturalist course after Cranes and Norriss deaths.

In setting this course Dreiser would ultimately secure a lasting place for himself in the canon of American literature. But in his own day, especially early in his career, the world view he expressed in his books led to controversy and censorship. Dreiser saw the human condition as a lonely and fragile one in which men and women are easily overwhelmed by the forces that surround them: the destructive effects of capitalism, greed, materialism, and lust on the individual are all laid bare in his novels.

The frankness with which he conveyed this idea disturbed his early readers and led to the condemnation of his first and now highly regarded novel, Sister Carrie, published in 1900. It was n



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