ISBN-10:
0674006046
ISBN-13:
9780674006041
Pub. Date:
04/30/2002
Publisher:
Harvard
Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945-1970 / Edition 1

Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945-1970 / Edition 1

by Morris Dickstein

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Overview

The twenty-five years after the Second World War were a lively and fertile period for the American novel and an era of momentous transformation in American society. Taking his title from the Kafka parable about the leopards who kept racing into the courtyard of the temple, disrupting the sacrifice, until they were made part of the ritual, Morris Dickstein shows how a daring band of outsiders reshaped the American novel and went on to dominate American fiction for the rest of the century.

In fluid prose, offering a social as well as a literary history, Dickstein provides a wide-ranging and frank reassessment of more than twenty key figures—including Jewish writers like Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth; African-Americans such as Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin; colorful emigrés like Vladimir Nabokov; and avatars of a new youth culture, including J. D. Salinger and Jack Kerouac.

Disputing the received wisdom about the culture of the Cold War, Dickstein shows why artists turned inward after the war and demonstrates how the writing of the 1960s emerged from the cultural ferment of the preceding decades, including road novels, avant-garde painting, bebop, film, psychoanalysis, and social changes that continue to affect us today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674006041
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 04/30/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Morris Dickstein is Distinguished Professor of English at Queens College and the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York.

Table of Contents

Preface

1. Introduction: Culture, Counterculture, and Postwar America

2. War and the Novel: From World War II to Vietnam

3. The New Fiction: From the Home Front to the 1950s

4. On and Off the Road: The Outsider as Young Rebel

5. Apocalypse Now: A Literature of Extremes

Bibliography

Index

What People are Saying About This

Frank Lentricchia

In short, this is criticism about as full as one could possibly wish for: as sophisticated an integration of aesthetic and cultural criticism as I've seen, ranking with the best of Trilling Š This is a great book, of interest to any serious literary reader.

Bercovitch

It is a model in its own right of literary history, and specifically of the complex intermeshings of history and the novel, of aesthetics and culture, of racial, ethnic, and social issues in the process of literary creation. I predict that this brilliant book will become the standard authority in its field.

Frank Lentricchia

In short, this is criticism about as full as one could possibly wish for: as sophisticated an integration of aesthetic and cultural criticism as I've seen, ranking with the best of Trilling...This is a great book, of interest to any serious literary reader.

Sacvan Bercovitch

It is a model in its own right of literary history, and specifically of the complex intermeshings of history and the novel, of aesthetics and culture, of racial, ethnic, and social issues in the process of literary creation. I predict that this brilliant book will become the standard authority in its field.

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