On its debut, this brilliant, innovative, and influential study established Alfred Kazin's reputation as a leading literary critic. Now, in its fiftieth year of publication, Kazin's work is as relevant as on the day it was first written, a classic that brings fresh perspective to our interpretation of the literature belonging to what many consider the golden era of American letters. Kazin discusses the work of Edith Wharton, Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, and William ...
On its debut, this brilliant, innovative, and influential study established Alfred Kazin's reputation as a leading literary critic. Now, in its fiftieth year of publication, Kazin's work is as relevant as on the day it was first written, a classic that brings fresh perspective to our interpretation of the literature belonging to what many consider the golden era of American letters. Kazin discusses the work of Edith Wharton, Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, and William Faulkner, among others writing in the period embraced by the Civil War and World War II, and declares this era the advent of a truly American literary style: sensitive to economic and social issues while expressing an intense national consciousness. Importantly, Kazin believes that this emerging American literature reflected not simply a reaction to Victorian gentility and repression but something greater -- the moral transformation of our entire society under the gathering impact of industrialization, science, and world wars. It was this idea of a nation's principal literary figures being bound so directly to its social development that made Kazin's analysis revolutionary and that maintains its vitality fifty years later.
Acceptable. Book is not in the prettiest or greatest condition, although binding is loose, the pages are still holding together and readable. Paperback The item is fairly worn but still readable. Signs of wear include aesthetic issues such as scratches, worn covers, damaged binding. The item may have identifying markings on it or show other signs of previous use. May have page creases, creased spine, bent cover or markings inside. Packed with care, shipped promptly.
Kazin write as one who has studied American lit and who wants to share what he found with everyone, not just academics. He wants to show the uniqueness of American writers. Some of his opinions have changed since the 40's. He came to believe, rightly, that he had undervalued Faulkner. But the book let's us see what is unique about the American experience, how we were no longer Europeans living in the New World. The book is enormously readable. I recommend to people who love American lit and those who to better understand what we have become.
Oct 4, 2007
Lucidity and Intelligence
Published in 1942, Alfred Kazin's On Native Grounds is a brilliant study of American literature from the late 1800s to mid-twentieth century, contextualizing that literature within the context of history, culture, and social change from industrialization, science, the Gilded Age, the Great Depression and the proletarian or social protest novel it spawned, to World War II. Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald are among the writers he discusses. One might quibble with some of Kazin's critical evaluations; as with most Eastern critics, he seems to underrate John Steinbeck, while few would probably accept his preference for Thomas Wolfe over Faulkner. Still, by and large, Kazin's criticism is marked by intelligence, learning, fairness, and an acute lucidity. Also recommended is Kazin's 1984 An American Procession in which he does take the full measure of Faulkner's greatness.
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.