Stanley Elkin





Stanley Elkin

Author profile


born
in Brooklyn, New York, The United States
May 11, 1930

died
May 31, 1995

gender
male

website

genre

influences
William Faulkner, Albert Camus, Saul Bellow, John Barth


About this author

Stanley Lawrence Elkin was a Jewish American novelist, short story writer, and essayist. His extravagant, satirical fiction revolves around American consumerism, popular culture, and male-female relationships.

During his career, Elkin published ten novels, two volumes of novellas, two books of short stories, a collection of essays, and one (unproduced) screenplay. Elkin's work revolves about American pop culture, which it portrays in innumerable darkly comic variations. Characters take full precedence over plot.

His language throughout is extravagant and exuberant, baroque and flowery, taking fantastic flight from his characters' endless patter. "He was like a jazz artist who would go off on riffs," said critic William Gass. In a review of G
...more


Average rating: 3.93 · 3,439 ratings · 338 reviews · 28 distinct works · Similar authors
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The Magic Kingdom
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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 261 ratings — published 1985 — 14 editions
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The Franchiser
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 140 ratings — published 1976 — 11 editions
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The Dick Gibson Show
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 148 ratings — published 1971 — 12 editions
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A Bad Man
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 105 ratings — published 1968 — 15 editions
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Mrs. Ted Bliss
3.38 of 5 stars 3.38 avg rating — 112 ratings — published 1995 — 11 editions
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Searches and Seizures
4.28 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 76 ratings — published 1973 — 10 editions
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Criers & Kibitzers, Kibitze...
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 82 ratings — published 1966 — 11 editions
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George Mills
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 77 ratings — published 1982 — 11 editions
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Boswell: A Modern Comedy
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 70 ratings — published 1964 — 12 editions
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More books by Stanley Elkin…
“I don't believe less is more. I believe that more is more. I believe that less is less, fat fat, thin thin and enough is enough. ”
Stanley Elkin

“There’s something comforting, almost soothing, about realism, and it’s nothing to do with shocks of recognition — well it wouldn’t, since shocks never console — or even with the familiarity that breeds content, so as much as with the fact that the realistic world, in literature, at least, is one that, from a certain perspective, always makes sense, even in its bum deals and tragedies, inasmuch as it plays — even showboats and grandstands — to our passion for reason. The realistic tradition presumes to deal, I mean, with cause and effect, with some deep need in readers — in all of us — for justice, with the demand for the explicable reap/sow benefits (or punishments), with the law of just desserts — with all God’s and Nature’s organic bookkeeping. And since form fits and follows function, style is instructed not to make waves but merely to tag along, easy as pie, taking in everything that can be seen along the way but not much more and nothing at all of what isn’t immediately available to the naked eye.”
Stanley Elkin, Criers & Kibitzers, Kibitzers & Criers

“Even the sky a hybrid — here clean and black and starred, there roiling with a brusque signature of cloud or piled in strata like folded linen or the interior of rock.”
Stanley Elkin

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