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Theodore Dreiser and the Modernists

Theodore Dreiser and the Modernists , Tokyo Metropolitan University Although the younger writers after WWI must have had to engage with Theodore Dreiser, given his stature in the 1920s and 1930s, little serious thought has been paid to what influences he may have had on them. Instead, academic common sense, branding Dreiser as a naturalist and the postwar masters as modernists, has for a long time dictated that the generation gap and differences between them should receive most of the critical attention. Against the grain of conventional practice, however, this essay is an attempt to explore the ignored or even suppressed links between Dreiser and some of the most prominent modernists. To be sure, if discontinuity rather than continuity is emphasized, such a situation might be regarded as no anomaly in particular. But what brings about excessive separations between writers is not limited to the Oedipal animosities among them, which Harold Bloom illustrates in The Anxiety of Influence. Vogues and tendencies in critical and academic discourse can also make such phenomena appear to exist. In order to underscore the modernity and innovation of the younger writers after the Great War and the Russian Revolution, literary critics promulgated the view that their severance from http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in American Naturalism uni_neb

Theodore Dreiser and the Modernists

Studies in American Naturalism , Volume 11 (2) – Aug 29, 2016

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
1944-6519
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Abstract

, Tokyo Metropolitan University Although the younger writers after WWI must have had to engage with Theodore Dreiser, given his stature in the 1920s and 1930s, little serious thought has been paid to what influences he may have had on them. Instead, academic common sense, branding Dreiser as a naturalist and the postwar masters as modernists, has for a long time dictated that the generation gap and differences between them should receive most of the critical attention. Against the grain of conventional practice, however, this essay is an attempt to explore the ignored or even suppressed links between Dreiser and some of the most prominent modernists. To be sure, if discontinuity rather than continuity is emphasized, such a situation might be regarded as no anomaly in particular. But what brings about excessive separations between writers is not limited to the Oedipal animosities among them, which Harold Bloom illustrates in The Anxiety of Influence. Vogues and tendencies in critical and academic discourse can also make such phenomena appear to exist. In order to underscore the modernity and innovation of the younger writers after the Great War and the Russian Revolution, literary critics promulgated the view that their severance from

Journal

Studies in American Naturalismuni_neb

Published: Aug 29, 2016

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