Love and Death in the American Novel

Dalkey Archive Press
4
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A retrospective article on Leslie Fiedler in the New York Times Book Review in 1965 referred to Love and Death in the American Novel as "one of the great, essential books on the American imagination . . . an accepted major work." This groundbreaking work views in depth both American literature and character from the time of the American Revolution to the present. From it, there emerges Fiedler's once scandalous—now increasingly accepted—judgment that our literature is incapable of dealing with adult sexuality and is pathologically obsessed with death.
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About the author

Leslie A. Fiedler, a literary critic, was a professor of English at the State University of New York, at Buffalo. His well-known preoccupation with social and psychological issues emerged with Love and Death in the American Novel (1960), which became a major critical text of the 1960s. In this book he argued that American writing has been shaped by an inability to portray mature sexual relationships and by an underlying fear of death. Fiedler admonished critics, teachers, and readers of literature to connect text and context-to consider a poem, for example, as the sum of many contexts, including its genre, the other works of the author, the other works of his time, and so forth. Fiedler's notions of moral ambiguity echo Matthew Arnold's focus on art as criticism of life, but with an energy and style peculiar to himself. Fiedler depended greatly on generalizations (usually unexpected), making his critical remarks reflect broader considerations.

Charles B. Harris directs the Unit for Contemporary Literature atIllinois State University. He is also the publisher of American BookReview and author of numerous books and articles on recent Americanfiction and the profession of English studies. In 1997 the ModernLanguage Associated honored him with the Francis Andrew March Award forExceptional Service to the Profession of English.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Dalkey Archive Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 1960
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9781564781635
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / American / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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From the Trade Paperback edition.
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