Novels and Essays

Novels and Essays

Book - 1986
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The library of America is dedicated to publishing America's best and most significant writing in handsome, enduring volumes, featuring authoritative texts. Hailed as the "finest-looking, longest-lasting editions ever made" (The New Republic), Library of America volumes make a fine gift for any occasion. Now, with exactly one hundred volumes to choose from, there is a perfect gift for everyone.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Literary Classics of the United States : Distributed by Viking Press, c1986
ISBN: 9780940450400
Branch Call Number: NORRIS F
PS2471 1986
Characteristics: 1,232 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Pizer, Donald


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May 20, 2014

I'm not a big fan of the naturalism movement in American lit., which was heavily influenced by French writers, and included Dreiser, London and Crane. They depicted a world driven by external forces (esp. economic) and characters with little inner life whose primal instincts for sex, survival and power often drove them to destruction. Hemingway wasn't all that far removed from their philosophy, although he added a veneer of existentialism and glamor. Anyway, Frank Norris, who also wrote "The Octopus," was one of the major writers of the period and this is perhaps his best book, a tale of a couple undone by greed, bad luck and stupidity. Don't look for much redemption here. Like Dreiser, his style is crude, but powerful, like a dumb beast. This was the basis for Erich Von Stroheim's ambitious, sprawling and doomed film "Greed," which is only available in a truncated version.


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