Love and Death in the American Novel

Overview

A retrospective article on Leslie Fiedler in the New York Times Book Review in 1965 referred to Love and Death in the American Novel as "one of the great, essential books on the American imagination... an accepted major work." This groundbreaking work views in depth both American literature and character from the time of the American Revolution to the present. From it, there emerges Fiedler's once scandalous -- now increasingly accepted -- judgment that our literature is incapable of dealing with adult sexuality ...

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Overview

A retrospective article on Leslie Fiedler in the New York Times Book Review in 1965 referred to Love and Death in the American Novel as "one of the great, essential books on the American imagination... an accepted major work." This groundbreaking work views in depth both American literature and character from the time of the American Revolution to the present. From it, there emerges Fiedler's once scandalous -- now increasingly accepted -- judgment that our literature is incapable of dealing with adult sexuality and is pathologically obsessed with death.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

Richard Chase
“Genuinely original . . . a work of lasting importance . . . a powerful indictment of our culture and of modern culture in general.”
Lionel Trilling
“I know few works of criticism that are so likely to involve the reader whose interest in literature is not of a professional kind . . . it amounts to a general cultural history of the nation.”
David Plante - Bookforum
“In its insights the book remains immensely intelligent, immediate, and vital.”
Los Angeles Times
“It is not possible to read Leslie Fiedler's criticism without a sense of awe and excitement.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Prof. Fiedler's entertaining account of the American Novel's obsessions remains one of the key works of American studies more then 30 years after its first appearance. New afterword by the author. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564781635
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1ST DALKEY
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 1,020,002
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Leslie A. Fiedler (1917-2003) was born in
Newark, New Jersey. He did his undergraduate studies at New York
University, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.
Fiedler taught throughout his career, first at the University of Montana and subsequently at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He was the author of many books, including Love and Death in the
American Novel, The Last Jew in America, Waiting for the
End, No! in Thunder, An End to Innocence, Freaks,
and Tyranny of the Normal.

Charles B. Harris directs the Unit for Contemporary Literature at
Illinois State University. He is also the publisher of American Book
Review and author of numerous books and articles on recent American fiction and the profession of English studies. In 1997 the Modern
Language Associated honored him with the Francis Andrew March Award for
Exceptional Service to the Profession of English.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition 7
Preface to the First Edition 9
Pt. 1 Prototypes and Early Adaptations
1 The Novel and America 23
2 The Novel's Audience and the Sentimental Love Religion 39
3 Richardson and the Tragedy of Seduction 62
4 The Bourgeois Sentimental Novel and the Female Audience 74
5 The Beginnings of the Anti-Bourgeois Sentimental Novel in America 105
6 Charles Brockden Brown and the Invention of the American Gothic 126
7 James Fenimore Cooper and the Historical Romance 162
Pt. 2 Achievement and Frustration
8 Clarissa in America: Toward Marjorie Morningstar 217
9 Good Good Girls and Good Bad Boys: Clarissa as a Juvenile 259
10 The Revenge on Woman: From Lucy to Lolita 291
11 The Failure of Sentiment and the Evasion of Love 337
12 The Blackness of Darkness: Edgar Allan Poe and the Development of the Gothic 391
13 The Power of Blackness: Faustian Man and the Cult of Violence 430
Index 506
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