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Richard Stern

Author: James Schiffer
Publisher: New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, ©1993.
Series: Twayne's United States authors series, TUSAS 625.; Gale virtual reference library.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Provides in-depth analysis of the life, works, career, and critical importance of Richard Stern.
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Schiffer, James.
Richard Stern.
New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1993
(DLC) 93010600
(OCoLC)27936243
Named Person: Richard Stern; Richard Stern
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: James Schiffer
ISBN: 9780805795493 0805795499
OCLC Number: 300732939
Reproduction Notes: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010. MiAaHDL
Description: 1 online resource (xv, 176 pages).
Details: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Contents: Writer's writer --
Stern style --
Geniuses and Epigones --
Americans in Europe --
The comedy of failure --
Betrayal --
Autobiographical fictions of love --
Fatherhood --
Portraiture --
A place on the map --
Appendix: an interview with Richard Stern.
Series Title: Twayne's United States authors series, TUSAS 625.; Gale virtual reference library.
Responsibility: James Schiffer.

Abstract:

Provides in-depth analysis of the life, works, career, and critical importance of Richard Stern.

Richard Stern's 16 books of fiction and nonfiction have won prestigious prizes and have been strongly praised by many prominent writers, including his close friends Saul Bellow and Philip Roth. Still, the author of the novels Golk (1960), Stitch (1965), Other Men's Daughters (1973), Natural Shocks (1978), and A Father's Words (1986), among others, is, as a Newsweek reviewer has described him, "one of this country's best-kept secrets." An academic long affiliated with the University of Chicago, Stern creates characters who, although technically "intellectuals," are profoundly human, grappling with betrayal, family relations, and identity. In this first book-length critical assessment of Stern, James Schiffer explores the author's writing style, themes, and reception by critics, arguing in conclusion that Stern deserves "a place on the map" of important post-World War II American writers. Schiffer observes the claim that Stern is a "difficult" writer, a "writer's writer," but ultimately finds that his lucid prose, affectionate character portrayals, and well-timed comic strokes make Stern more accessible than many people imagine. Schiffer examines Stern's style and, in part on stylistic grounds, distinguishes Stern's fiction from that of his colleague and fellow Chicagoan Saul Bellow. He surveys what he calls Stern's theme of "geniuses and epigones" in the novels Golk and Stitch, as well as Stern's long fascination with Americans living and traveling in Europe, a place where some of Stern's best fictions are set. The "comedy of failure"--The bittersweet mingling of humor and sadness - especially in Stern's short stories, Schiffer analyzes in a separate chapter as one of Stern's special gifts. Betrayal, a theme that runs through much of Stern's work, also accounts for an entire chapter: it is a theme, according to Schiffer, that Stern treats broadly, from the perspectives of the victims and the betrayers themselves. Schiffer looks at Stern as an autobiographical writer, matching Stern's personal history with the situations in which his protagonists find themselves; he also traces the autobiographically laced theme of fatherhood in Stern's fiction, especially in the 1970 novella Veni, Vidi ... Wendt and subsequent works. Finally, a chapter on portraiture analyzes how Stern fictionally represents the act of capturing a variety of people in language and other media. Rounding out the volume in the Appendix is a provocative in-depth interview with Stern, in which the author discusses his practice as a writer and the art of fiction generally.

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