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Writing Systems : Richard Yates, Remington Rand, and the Univac

Writing Systems : Richard Yates, Remington Rand, and the Univac BRIAN RAJSKI ew works of fiction have offered as searing an indictment of postwar American conformity as Richard Yates's first novel, Revolutionary Road (1961). In Yates's book, married couple Frank and April Wheeler aspire to escape from their constricting suburban neighborhood and Frank's dull corporate job by moving to Europe, where they expect to find a more creative and rewarding life. But unable (or unwilling) to carry out their plan, they find themselves resigned to producing and maintaining a fragile distinction between their selves and their mainstream American environment. The plot of the novel could be read as an allegory of the fate of literary experimentation in postwar America. The Paris of Hemingway is the Wheelers' stated destination (131), but they are realistic about what is possible and remain merely suburbanites with a heightened sense of their own refined culture. In literary terms, earlier modernist and avant-garde breakthroughs in form, while still admired, are supplanted by the subtle crafting of individuality from within an existing realist style. But whereas the Wheelers eventually fail to remain distinct from their peers and environment (resulting in the novel's tragic, or perhaps just melodramatic, ending), Revolutionary Road succeeds in its performance of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

Writing Systems : Richard Yates, Remington Rand, and the Univac

Contemporary Literature , Volume 54 (3) – Nov 25, 2013

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin.
ISSN
1548-9949
Publisher site
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Abstract

BRIAN RAJSKI ew works of fiction have offered as searing an indictment of postwar American conformity as Richard Yates's first novel, Revolutionary Road (1961). In Yates's book, married couple Frank and April Wheeler aspire to escape from their constricting suburban neighborhood and Frank's dull corporate job by moving to Europe, where they expect to find a more creative and rewarding life. But unable (or unwilling) to carry out their plan, they find themselves resigned to producing and maintaining a fragile distinction between their selves and their mainstream American environment. The plot of the novel could be read as an allegory of the fate of literary experimentation in postwar America. The Paris of Hemingway is the Wheelers' stated destination (131), but they are realistic about what is possible and remain merely suburbanites with a heightened sense of their own refined culture. In literary terms, earlier modernist and avant-garde breakthroughs in form, while still admired, are supplanted by the subtle crafting of individuality from within an existing realist style. But whereas the Wheelers eventually fail to remain distinct from their peers and environment (resulting in the novel's tragic, or perhaps just melodramatic, ending), Revolutionary Road succeeds in its performance of

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Nov 25, 2013

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