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|Genre/Form:||Criticism, interpretation, etc|
|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
French, Warren G., 1922-
John Steinbeck's fiction revisited.
New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, c1994
|Named Person:||John Steinbeck; John Steinbeck; John Steinbeck; John Steinbeck|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Warren G French
|Description:||xv, 164 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.|
|Contents:||The making and unmaking of a novelist --
John Steinbeck and modernism --
Two false starts --
The story cycles --
Travels through the long valley --
Dreams into nightmares --
The education of the heart --
Wartime search for a hero --
Art for art's sake: transcendent man in cosmic monterey --
Searching for a folk hero --
The last big push --
Ulysses's final quests: Cannery Row revisited, Paris, and Long Island --
|Series Title:||Twayne's United States authors series, TUSAS 638.|
His retelling of an old Mexican folktale in The Pearl (1948) has been praised for its dignity and noble simplicity, a characteristic shared by his first critical success, Tortilla Flat (1935), an affectionate yet realistic novel about the Spanish-speaking poor of Monterey, California.
In an entirely new analysis of the fiction of this renowned novelist, story writer, and journalist, Warren French - past president and chairman of the John Steinbeck Society - places Steinbeck in the modernist tradition and argues that his work is unquestionably among the finest of world literature of the twentieth century. French asserts that what is generally regarded as Steinbeck's best fiction - that of the 1930s - exemplifies the ironic mode of the "modernism" of the period.
With The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck began to move away from prevailing despair and toward an affirmative vision of human potential which led him, French maintains, not to postmodernist fiction but back to a narrative view quite similar to that of America's late Victorians.
Chapters of this comprehensive study focus on what French calls Steinbeck's false start, including such early novels as Cup of Gold (1929); on the manifestations of the author's ironic vision in Tortilla Flat and the story cycles, especially the exquisitely nostalgic story "The Red Pony" in his 1938 collection The Long Valley; on ironic vision that sparked a theatrical impulse, in, for example, In Dubious Battle (1936) and Of Mice and Men; on the change of heart represented by The Grapes of Wrath; on the author's search for affirmation exemplified by the The Pearl and The Moon Is Down, his 1942 novel about Norwegian resistance to the Nazis; and on his vision of California redeemed, as seen in the sweeping 1952 novel East of Eden.