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Traditions, voices, and dreams : the American novel since the 1960s

Author: Melvin J Friedman; Ben Siegel
Publisher: Newark, Del. : University of Delaware Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1995.
Edition/Format:   Book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Traditions, Voices, and Dreams offers the interested reader ample testimony that the American Novel is alive, well, and steadily breaking new ground. These collected essays also provide a new text for contemporary American novel classes.... [It] puts into perspective such contemporary masters as John Barth, Saul Bellow, E. L. Doctorow, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Flannery O'Connor, Cynthia Ozick, Walker Percy,
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Traditions, voices, and dreams.
Newark, Del. : University of Delaware Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, c1995
(OCoLC)604095768
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Melvin J Friedman; Ben Siegel
ISBN: 0874135567 9780874135565
OCLC Number: 31607123
Description: 335 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Introduction : a brief overview of the recent American novel / Melvin J. Friedman --
Baroque Catholicism in southern fiction : Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and John Kennedy Toole / Michael Patrick Gillespie --
Voices interior and exterior : William Styron's narrative personae / James L.W. West III --
Simply not a mandarin : Saul Bellow as Jew and Jewish writer / Ben Siegel --
Jewish Jacobites : Henry James's presence in the fiction of Philip Roth and Cynthia Ozick / Mark Krupnick --
The metamorphosis of the classics : John Barth, Philip Roth, and the European tradition / Clayton Koelb --
Origins, language, and the constitution of reality : Norman Mailer's Ancient evenings / James M. Mellard --
Toward a new American mainstream : John Updike and Kurt Vonnegut / Jerome Klinkowitz --
Writing as witnessing : the many voices of E.L. Doctorow / Susan Brienza --
Panoramic, unpredictable, and human : Joyce Carol Oates' recent novels / Linda Wagner-Martin --
Women's life-writing and the minority voice : Maya Angelou, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Alice Walker / Suzette A. Henke --
Desperate hopes, desperate lives : depression and self-realization in Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John and Lucy / James Nagel --
Fundamentalist views and feminist dilemmas : Elizabeth Dewberry Vaughn's Many things have happened since he died and Break the heart of me / Gloria L. Cronin --
Dreams and nightmares : "high-tech paranoia" and the Jamesonian sublime, an approach to Thomas Pynchon's postmodernism / Elaine Safer --
Lingering hopes, faltering dreams : Marilynne Robinson and the politics of contemporary American fiction / Thomas Schaub.
Responsibility: edited by Melvin J. Friedman and Ben Siegel.

Abstract:

Traditions, Voices, and Dreams offers the interested reader ample testimony that the American Novel is alive, well, and steadily breaking new ground. These collected essays also provide a new text for contemporary American novel classes.... [It] puts into perspective such contemporary masters as John Barth, Saul Bellow, E. L. Doctorow, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Flannery O'Connor, Cynthia Ozick, Walker Percy, Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth, William Styron, John Updike, and Kurt Vonnegut and the strikingly sectarian John Kennedy Toole. Also discussed are such recent and important ethnic and women writers as Maya Angelou, Jamaica Kincaid, Maxine Hong Kingston, Marilyn Robinson, Elizabeth Dewberry Vaughan, and Alice Walker.

Wishing to be as inclusive and varied as possible, editors Melvin J. Friedman and Ben Siegel invited fourteen outstanding critic/scholars of contemporary American fiction to place in literary and cultural perspective their novelists and themes of choice. The resulting volume's one true predecessor would be Joseph J. Waldmeir's Recent American Fiction: Some Critical Views (1963), in which this volume's two editors had essays, but even that notable compilation lacked the range of major, ethnic, or women writers and the variety of critical methods represented here.

Michael Gillespie, James West, Ben Siegel, Mark Krupnick, and Clayton Koelb, for example, discuss some of the ways American novelists have integrated into their fiction elements from the Southern, Jewish, and European cultural and literary traditions. Then James Mellard, Jerome Klinkowitz, Susan Brienza, Linda Wagner-Martin, and Suzette Henke analyze the differing "voices and languages" shaping the social and human "realities" depicted in the writings of some major American literary figures. Finally, James Nagel, Gloria Cronin, Elaine Safer, and Thomas Schaub confront the thematic "hopes, dreams, and desperation" central to a good deal of this country's fiction today. As the century draws to a close then, the allegedly vanishing American novel does not appear to lack creative or daringly experimental literary practitioners - as this volume abundantly shows.

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