Download E-books On Native Grounds: An Interpretation of Modern American Prose Literature PDF

By Alfred Kazin

A vintage interpretation of literature from America's golden age-including the paintings of Howells, Wharton, Lewis, Cather, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner. New Preface through the writer; Index.

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Long island excited and saddened him straight away; he as soon as wrote to Henry James that it reminded him of a tender woman, “and occasionally an outdated lady, yet wild and shy and womanly candy, consistently, with a kind of Unitarian optimism in its air. ” He clung to the town distractedly. “New York’s immensely interesting,” he had written to a Cambridge buddy in 1888, “but I don’t recognize no matter if I shall deal with it; I’m now fifty-one, you recognize. there are numerous attention-grabbing younger portray and writing fellows, and where is lordly unfastened, with overseas touches of all types all thro’ its abounding Americanism: Boston turns out of one other planet. ” To James, whose each letter evoked the nice days in Cambridge within the eighteen-seventies after they had dreamed of conquering the trendy novel jointly, he wrote that he stumbled on it droll that he will be in long island in any respect. “But why no longer? ” the bizarre, noisy, ebullient urban, which in his novels of this era resounded to the clamor of increased trains and street-car moves, however steered the standard of youngster; and Howells, previous at fifty, overjoyed within the Bowery, walks on Mott road, Washington sq., and Italian eating places. He had unusual friends—Henry George lived a road or away, and so they observed one another frequently; he went to Socialist conferences and listened, as he stated, to “hard facts”; he even entertained Russian nihilists. certainly, he now known as himself a Socialist, a “theoretical Socialist and a realistic aristocrat. ” To his father he wrote, in 1890, “but it's a convenience to be correct theoretically and to be embarrassed about oneself virtually. ” an exceptional swap had come over Howells. The eighteen-eighties, tricky sufficient years for american citizens studying to stay within the tumultuous new international of business capitalism, had encounter Howells as a sequence of non-public and social mess ups. The genial, sunny, traditional author who had continuously taken such have fun with the pleased and usual lifetime of the yankee center classification now came across himself rootless in spirit on the peak of his profession. Facile princeps within the renowned estimation, the muse of numerous younger writers—was he no longer an explanation that the do-it-yourself artist in the United States used to be the noblest kind of luck? —financially safe, he discovered that he had misplaced that calm and virtually complacent excitement in his countrymen that had regularly been so plentiful a resource of his artwork and the situation of its normal good fortune. To James he may well now funny story that they have been either in exile from the United States, yet stated that for himself it was once “the so much grotesquely illogical factor less than the solar; and that i feel i admire the US much less since it won’t permit me like it extra. I may still infrequently wish to belief pen and ink with the entire audacity of my social principles; yet after fifty years of confident content material with ‘civilization’ and its skill to come back out okay after all, I now abhor it, and believe that it's popping out all unsuitable finally, except it bases itself anew on a true equality. ” by no means sooner than had he ignored that equality in American existence; raised upon an informal equalitarianism and a Swedenborgian doctrine in his village formative years whose supernaturalism he had deserted early for a faith of goodness, he had continually taken the never-ending promise of yankee lifestyles with no consideration.

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