» » American Naturalism and the Jews: Garland, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather

Fb2 American Naturalism and the Jews: Garland, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather ePub

by Donald Pizer

Category: History and Criticism
Subcategory: Fiction
Author: Donald Pizer
ISBN: 0252033434
ISBN13: 978-0252033438
Language: English
Publisher: University of Illinois Press (June 18, 2008)
Pages: 112
Fb2 eBook: 1103 kb
ePub eBook: 1328 kb
Digital formats: lrf doc txt lit

x000B x000B Pizer shows how these writers' racist impulses represented more than just personal biases, but resonated with larger social and ideological movements within American culture.

Wharton and Cather decried the plight of women in American society and campaigned for women’s rights. Not all of these writers exposed their dislike of Jews in their fiction

Wharton and Cather decried the plight of women in American society and campaigned for women’s rights. Nevertheless, in terms of their position on Jews (as well as other immigrant and minority groups) all five were unsympathetic, inclined to perceive Jews as wily bankers, crafty entertainment industry swindlers, impossible to domesticate and genetically savage. Not all of these writers exposed their dislike of Jews in their fiction. Wharton’s novels, as a prime example, did not advertise their author’s elitist outlook or anti-Semitic feelings.

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.

Pizer, Donald (2008). American Naturalism and the Jews: Garland, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather. Pizer, Donald (2014). The Significant Hamlin Garland: A Collection of Essays. New York: Anthem Press. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

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Donald Pizer s lively and succinct American Naturalism and the Jews: Garland, Norris .

Donald Pizer s lively and succinct American Naturalism and the Jews: Garland, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather explores a riddle that has long dogged scholars of American literary naturalism: how could writers whose reformist politics were otherwise so liberal indulge in the crude semantics of antisemitism? .

American Naturalism and the Jews examines the unabashed anti-Semitism of five notable American naturalist novelists otherwise known for their progressive social values. 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.

x000B x000B Pizer shows how these writers' racist impulses represented more than just personal biases, but resonated with larger social and ideological movements within American culture.

Keywords: American Naturalism, Norris, Garland, Wharton, Cather, Dreiser, Naturalism and the Jews.

An imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company. In general, I was at pains in those essays of the late 1950s and early 1960s to demonstrate that Norris was a kind of closet intellectual.

American 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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