By W. M. Frohock
Theodore Dreiser - American Writers 102 used to be first released in 1972. Minnesota Archive versions makes use of electronic expertise to make long-unavailable books once more available, and are released unaltered from the unique college of Minnesota Press variations.
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Additional resources for Theodore Dreiser (Pamphlets on American Writers)
M. FROHOCK Dreiser wrote most of The "Genius" in 1911, while his mind was also occupied by Cowperwood. ) Cowperwood is as exempt from the rules as Witla, so far as actual behavior is concerned, but he asks for no special treatment beyond what he can force the world to give him. The closest he ever comes to self-righteousness is when, in The Titan, he tells Aileen, who has caught him redhanded, that he can't change what he is and that she had better put up with him. The quotation marks in the title of Witla's story may be ironic, but the irony isn't based on a perception that Witla's values are rather confused.
Parrington had admired Dreiser, as is evident from an unfinished chapter in the last volume of his influential Main Currents in American Thought. Even when Dreiser's stock was at its lowest, the thoughtful and independent Alfred Kazin broke through the cliches of critical disapproval to do him justice in On Native Grounds and again in introductions to the reprints of several of the novels. F. O. Matthiessen, after writing luminously about the Jameses, under42 Theodore Dreiser took to write a monograph which would offer a balanced view of Dreiser and, indeed, does so, even though left incomplete by Matthiessen's death.
For wanting nothing better than this he ends in the electric chair. His parents are street preachers who run a "mission" in Kansas City, and who live a grubby and mean life; they are rigidly religious and dirt poor. He leaves school as soon as he can, and eventually gets a bellhop's job in a flashily luxurious hotel. The glamour he sees about him is everything home isn't. Dimly he wants something like it for himself, just as he wants to play about with the other bellhops and their girls. The fun ends abruptly when a group of them make off with a car for a joyride and manage to run down a small child.