Posts Tagged: great american novel
Infinite Jest recently turned twenty, a birthday so momentous it merited a new edition of the tome for college students to display on their bedside tables. In light of the renewed discussion about David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus, D.T. Max reminds disciples that he also wrote some other stuff:
Alongside his first collection, “Girl with Curious Hair,” published in 1989, “Brief Interviews” and “Oblivion” cumulatively make the case for Wallace as one of the most interesting short-story writers of our time.
This idea — that one person, and only one person, in any given generation can possess the intellectual prowess, creative might, emotional intelligence and writing chops to produce a novel that speaks truth about the disparate American whole — is pure hogwash.
Did you know that Mark Twain is one of the best known foreign writers in China? Neither did we. There is a well earned, and unabashed image of Mark Twain as the quintessential American author and for good reason. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remains in the American cannon and is taught all over the country however it was a lesser known story of his that has him being taught along side of Mao Zedong....more
Adam Kirsch is breaking down the need for and the existence of the Great American Novel at Harvard Magazine:
But of course, if the American Dream weren’t still alive, somewhere in our culture and our minds, it wouldn’t be necessary for the novelists to keep writing Great American Novels.
The Millions “asked nine English scholars to choose one novel as the greatest our country has ever produced.”
The results span a wide range subjects, authors, and time periods.
Most you’ve heard of, a few you haven’t, but all of them dig into the American experience in rich and troubling ways....more