American Naturalism and the Jews
Garland, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather
By (author) Donald Pizer
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American Naturalism and the Jews by Donald Pizer
Book DescriptionAmerican Naturalism and the Jews examines the unabashed anti-Semitism of five notable American naturalist novelists otherwise known for their progressive social values. Hamlin Garland, Frank Norris, and Theodore Dreiser all pushed for social improvements for the poor and oppressed, while Edith Wharton and Willa Cather both advanced the public status of women. But they all also expressed strong prejudices against the Jewish race and faith throughout their fiction, essays, letters, and other writings, producing a contradiction in American literary history that has stymied scholars and, until now, gone largely unexamined. In this breakthrough study, Donald Pizer confronts this disconcerting strain of anti-Semitism pervading American letters and culture, illustrating how easily prejudice can coexist with even the most progressive ideals. Pizer shows how these writers' racist impulses represented more than just personal biases, but resonated with larger social and ideological movements within American culture. Anti-Semitic sentiment motivated such various movements as the western farmers' populist revolt and the East Coast patricians' revulsion against immigration, both of which Pizer discusses here. This antagonism toward Jews and other non-Anglo-Saxon ethnicities intersected not only with these authors' social reform agendas but also with their literary method of representing the overpowering forces of heredity, social or natural environment, and savage instinct.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780252033438
(5830mm x 3895mm x 458mm)
Imprint: University of Illinois Press
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publish Date: 18-Jun-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Donald Pizer
Significant Hamlin Garland, Hardback (October 2014)
This book collects the best of Donald Pizer's essays dealing with Hamlin Garland's early work and activities in to re-establish the importance of this formative stage in his career.
Hamlin Garland, Prairie Radical, Hardback (March 2010)
As a self-proclaimed native son of the middle border states of Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota, Hamlin Garland wrote short stories, novels, and essays about the harsh realities of farm life. This volume reprints much of Garland's radical fiction and nonfiction from between 1887 and 1894.
Red Badge of Courage, Paperback (February 2008)» View all books by Donald Pizer
This Norton Critical Edition of Stephen Crane's classic 1895 Civil War novel is again based on the first published edition, conservatively edited.
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Author Biography - Donald Pizer
Donald Pizer is Pierce Butler Professor of English Emeritus at Tulane University. He is the author of The Theory and Practice of American Literary Naturalism, the editor of The Cambridge Companion to American Realism and Naturalism and A Picture and a Criticism of Life: New Letters, Volume I by Theodore Dreiser, and coeditor of Theodore Dreiser: Interviews.
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