Love and Death in the American Novel (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Dalkey Archive Press, 1960 - Literary Criticism - 603 pages
9 Reviews

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.

  

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Review: Love and Death in the American Novel

User Review  - Ljiljana Stancic - Goodreads

This book offers an answer into that eternally mind-boggling question: can literary theory ever be fun? The premise of this book is immensely entertaining because it appeals to our visceral interest ... Read full review

Review: Love and Death in the American Novel

User Review  - Jeff Davis - Goodreads

remarkable. makes me want to reread a lot of things. the commentary on Marxism, Queer and African American roles in literature were of particular interest to me. truly enlightening Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

THE NOVEL AND AMERICA
23
THE NOVELS AUDIENCE AND THE SENTIMENTAL LOVE RELIGION
39
RICHARDSON AND THE TRAGEDY OF SEDUCTION
62
THE BOURGEOIS SENTIMENTAL NOVEL AND THE FEMALE AUDIENCE
74
THE BEGINNINGS OF THE ANTIBOURGEOIS SENTIMENTAL NOVEL IN AMERICA
105
CHARLES BROCKDEN BROWN AND THE INVENTION OF THE AMERICAN GOTHIC
126
JAMES FENIMORE COOPER AND THE HISTORICAL ROMANCE
162
ACHIEVEMENT AND FRUSTRATION
215
CLARISSA IN AMERICA TOWARD MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR
217
GOOD GOOD GIRLS AND GOOD BAD BOYS CLARISSA AS A JUVENILE
259
THE REVENGE ON WOMAN FROM LUCY TO LOLITA
291
THE FAILURE OF SENTIMENT AND THE EVASION OF LOVE
337
THE BLACKNESS OF DARKNESS EDGAR ALLAN POE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GOTHIC
391
THE POWER OF BLACKNESS FAUSTIAN MAN AND THE CULT OF VIOLENCE
430
INDEX
506
Copyright

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About the author (1960)

Leslie A. Fiedler, a literary critic, was a professor of English at the State University of New York, at Buffalo. His well-known preoccupation with social and psychological issues emerged with Love and Death in the American Novel (1960), which became a major critical text of the 1960s. In this book he argued that American writing has been shaped by an inability to portray mature sexual relationships and by an underlying fear of death. Fiedler admonished critics, teachers, and readers of literature to connect text and context-to consider a poem, for example, as the sum of many contexts, including its genre, the other works of the author, the other works of his time, and so forth. Fiedler's notions of moral ambiguity echo Matthew Arnold's focus on art as criticism of life, but with an energy and style peculiar to himself. Fiedler depended greatly on generalizations (usually unexpected), making his critical remarks reflect broader considerations.

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