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That she is a comic figure, almost a figure of fun, just as the pageant itself is
mainly an exercise in doggerel, makes no difference. For the other characters of
the novel the pageant is just an entertainment; for Miss La Torbe it is an act of ...
And this is important, for its effect is to make us accept Clyde as something of a
universal figure. This, Dreiser seems to be telling us, is the truth about man, will-
less man, forever the victim of circumstances. The tragedy, if tragedy there is, lies
... it in the novel, he created, as we realize from Mizener's biography and Budd
Schulberg's novel about Fitzgerald's last days in Hollywood, The Disenchanted, a
figure who was a completely adequate equivalent to himself at the time of writing.
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As with the predecessor, 'Tradition and Dream' is just a great piece of literary history. But it's better than the earlier history (which dealt with English fiction until about 1914) for a few reasons ... Read full review
The Southern Novel Between the Wars
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