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The editors introduce this symposium on modern novelists of the last two decades with the remark that American fiction has been devaluated here but recognized abroad and they define its particular distinction: the ""new pattern of human responses"" in which the self, while ambivalent, is dominant; and the respect for style-- writers today, more than ever before, use language as a control of both form and meaning. The ten essays which follow are necessarily variable but for the most part discriminating, shaded evaluations; among the best- Harvey Breit on ames Baldwin who in waging an ""exterior war"", may lose the ""interior one""; Mark chorer on McCullers and Capote -- writers for whom ""sensibility is almost the entire literary resource""; Donald Barr whose smarting commentary on Salinger atcher excepted) extends to the New Yorker as well; and Diana Trilling on the pster messiah Mailer where once again ""the self is the supreme, even sole eferent"". Then there's Alan Pryce-Jones on Nabokov as fabulist, Robert Gorham avis on Bellow and Styron, Alun R. Jones on Eudora Welty and her ""autonomy of the imagination"", David Stevenson on James Jones and Jack Kerouac, Granville Hicks n Malamud, Gold and Updike, and John Chamberlain on Mary McCarthy. A stimulating eminar for both admirers and dissidents, and an approach to modern fiction where more often than not- no set paradigm is easily discerned.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday