A LITTLE TREASURY OF AMERICAN PROSE: from Colonial Times to the Present Day by George- Ed. Mayberry

A LITTLE TREASURY OF AMERICAN PROSE: from Colonial Times to the Present Day

Email this review


Fourth in the Little Treasury series, belying the name for it will run to some 1,000 pages. Like the others in the series, this is virtually a library in itself, and provides the student of American prose with a working background of the best, the most representative of the major strains of American prose writing. The editor has chosen as representative the writer he considers the master of a given school. He has included a few for their popularity rather than their literary value. In his Introduction he gives the key to his approach:- the ""cult of experience"" as exemplified by Mark Twain and Hemingway, and the ""exploration of the individual"" by Hawthorne and James- and their convergence in some of the moderns, Fitzgerald and Faulkner, specifically. He includes in his selections not only fiction and essays, but political, religious, philosophical and critical writing, more than 100 selections overall, some in full, some in extracts from longer works. Unquestionably and inevitably critics will quarrel with his omissions, but nonetheless there's a feast of good writing for varied tastes. I could wish for more editorial comment throughout the text, but perhaps he is right in confining it to his Introduction, and to factual notes, where necessary, setting author in his times, and noting source and date.

Publisher: Scribner