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Love and Death in the American Novel by…
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Love and Death in the American Novel (original 1960; edition 1998)

by Leslie A. Fiedler

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381251,286 (4.08)3
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.… (more)
Member:americkikutak_kg
Title:Love and Death in the American Novel
Authors:Leslie A. Fiedler
Info:Dalkey Archive Press (1998), Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Novel, American, Love, Death

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Love and Death in the American Novel by Leslie A. Fiedler (1960)

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Fiedler argues that American literature is immature because, instead of dealing with the mature themes of European literature -- love and death, it concentrates on friendship and terror, and, perhaps most immature of all, the friendships are between men. Women are almost entirely excluded. Despite the fact that this book has the reek of pre-Stonewall Freudianism, I still find much of what it has to say very compelling. There does seem to be a tendency of American novels to eschew women and to embrace the homosocial, and this does seem to have something to do with the wilderness and our attitudes towards race. However, even if you reject his overall argument, his homosocial readings of Huck Finn and the Leatherstocking tales is so bang on and explains so much about American television, that you really need to at least skim it if you want to delve into American literature or popular culture in any serious way. ( )
  chrisjones | Jul 17, 2010 |
I remember being quite impressed by this book 35 years ago. I wonder if it would seem quite as ground-breaking today? ( )
  auntieknickers | Jan 31, 2008 |
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In memory of William Ellery Leonard
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Between the novel and America there are peculiar and intimate connections.
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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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