By Blanche H. Gelfant
Esteemed critic Blanche Gelfant's exceptional better half gathers jointly lucid essays on significant writers and issues by means of the superior literary critics within the usa. half 1 is created from articles on tales that proportion a specific subject, resembling "Working category tales" or "Gay and Lesbian Stories." the center of the e-book, although, lies partially 2, which includes a couple of hundred items on person writers and their paintings, together with Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Richard Ford, Raymond Carver, Eudora Welty, Andre Debus, Zora Neal Hurston, Anne Beattie, Bharati Mukherjee, J. D. Salinger, and Jamaica Kincaid, in addition to attractive items at the promising new writers to come back at the scene.
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Extra resources for The Columbia Companion to the Twentieth-Century American Short Story
Initially serialized below the identify “Yankel der Yankee” (and less than the author’s pseudonym “Socius”), the Yiddish Yekl differed not just within the identify of its protagonist (the English “Yekl” was once now not really a Jewish identify) but in addition in its technique of cultural mediation and its type of narration. Cahan’s Yiddish-language stories comprise omniscient socialist narrators rather than English-language chuffed endings; extra social feedback, extra profanities in characters’ dialogues, and extra sexual frankness than these “same” stories could comprise in English. His double tales are suggestive of the types of worlds that non-English brief fiction opens to American literature. Helena Staś’s Polish-American tale “Marzenie czy rzeczywistość: obrazek polsko-amerykański” (Dream or fact: A Polish-American photograph, 1907) follows Wanda, the rebellious, idealistic, and obdurate heroine, from Poland to the United States, whilst her impoverished-gentry mom and dad to migrate as a way to separate her from her Russian lover. “Are you so emancipated that spiritual and nationwide emotions have died in you? ” Wanda’s scandalized father asks her. “I don’t recognize nationwide or non secular feelings,” Wanda solutions. “Not one country and creed, yet all humanity could be our motto. ” “Renouncing nationwide or spiritual feeling is equal to renouncing relatives feeling,” outdated Kęszycki items. “Oh, this global is so backwards,” insists Wanda. “I are looking to belong to the common, to maneuver freely, to be a toddler of the full global, and to like every body both. ” yet Wanda’s idealism results in rootlessness. while she abandons her mom and dad aboard send and returns to her village, she discovers not just that the Russian has betrayed her but in addition that with no her kinfolk she has no position locally. So she is going to the US in any case, attempts in useless to discover her mom and dad, makes unsatisfied marriages, contributes to the suicide of her teenage son, and is ultimately pursued by way of the police as an anarchist ahead of she stumbles again into the kin and the nationwide fold. Staś’s notable tale ends with a visualization of this prodigal daughter’s new worldview. An embroidered canvas over her mattress depicts the Polish eagle held via Prussia, Russia, and Austria-Hungary, the 3 powers that had partitioned Poland. desire comes from in a foreign country, notwithstanding, as a Polish military is proven in the USA, able to struggle for the violated Motherland. Staś’s relations drama of betrayal and reconciliation turns emigration right into a resource of fixing the Polish nationwide tragedy of partition. Carl Wilhelm Andeer, born in Sweden in 1870, emigrated in 1891 and served as a minister in Swedish-American church buildings in Iowa, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Minnesota. between his tales that he released within the Augustana Synod book Ungdomsvännen (Friend of Youth), is the 1904 story “Svensk-amerikanen” (The Swedish-American), which dramatizes category modifications and hypocrisies. Returning to Sweden for a trip, the second-generation Professor Arvid Norén of North the USA seems like a miracle in an international of hypocrites who think that every one Swedish emigrants are inebriated farmhands or bragging servant ladies.