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Farrell and Pearl Buck. Thin novels by Nelson Algren and William Saroyan. The old Brooks and Warren Understanding Poetry nestled beside the collected plays of Clifford Odets. I tried to look away, but my eyes were held by a sick fascination. Butterfield 8 and The Big Sky, Young Lonigan and Manhattan Transfer, Darkness at Noon and On the Road-i-the literary has-beens of our age, together at last, blended into a high-fiber gruel. Canon Confidential 13 The old man led me back into his office and closed the door.
As writers, teachers, or intellectuals, most of us would like to claim greater efficacy for our labors than we're entitled to. " But it should start to wonder: Have its victories come too easily? The recent move toward politics and history in literary studies has turned the analysis of texts into a marionette theater of the political, to which we bring all the passions of our real-world commitments. And that's why it is sometimes necessary to remind ourselves of the distance from the classroom to the streets.
Three years later, in his major oration on "The American Scholar," Parker had at last found an entirely original genre of American literature: Yet, there is one portion of our permanent literature, if literature it may be called, which is wholly indigenous and original. . [W]e have one series of literary productions that could be written by none but Americans, and only here; I mean the Lives of Fugitive Slaves. But as these are not the work of the men of superior culture they hardly help to pay the scholar's debt.