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On Native Grounds: An Interpretation Of Modern American Prose Literature

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  42 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
A classic interpretation of literature from America's golden age-including the work of Howells, Wharton, Lewis, Cather, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner. New Preface by the Author; Index.
Paperback, 564 pages
Published April 15th 1995 by Mariner Books (first published 1942)
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Ted
Apr 19, 2016 Ted rated it it was amazing

There is sickness in contemporary literature, a very great sickness; but it is hardly self-willed, and it is bound up with the situation of contemporary humanity.
from the last chapter, written during the second World War


Of all the books I have under the general heading of American Literature, this is the last one I would ever want to lose.

That means that I would give up all the novels, all the other books by and about American authors, and keep this as the last one.

Why?

Because by dipping into Ka
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Erik Burge
Sep 23, 2013 Erik Burge rated it it was amazing
If you happen to be jonesing for a vigorous, stouthearted analysis of the generative forces (both creative and critical) that influenced the course of American literature between the tail end of the Victoria Era until the onset of World War II, then you won't go wrong with this one.

Navigating the analytic terrain in this exceedingly in-depth tome wasn't necessarily a stroll through the park, even for a dyed-in-the-wool Lost Generation/Hard-Boiled fan boy like me. But to Kazin's enduring credit,
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Andrew
Jul 31, 2010 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Rarely has a critical survey been this much fun to read. I particularly liked the preface, opening, and closing chapters. My favorite of Kazin's period surveys is his chapter on the Lost Generation.
Tuck
Jan 29, 2010 Tuck rated it it was amazing
worth reading, if just for the chapter on dos passos, hemingway, and fitzgerald. rather dense at times, but great all in all essays on books and writers.
Steve Quinn
May 29, 2013 Steve Quinn rated it really liked it
A really interesting look at American literature written during WWII. Fascinating to see who Kazin praises, and who he doesn't. There's a great preface where he admits to missing the boat on Faulkner, saying he was afraid of Jim when he wrote the book. The chapters focusing solely on critics of the period were pretty tough going, but the writing on Firzgerald, Hemingway, Wolfe, etc got me all fired up to read and re-read American authors.
Steve
Feb 01, 2009 Steve rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, lit-crit
This is the edtion I now have, but it is a reprint that is considerably older than 1995. If you're into modern American Lit (though "modern" may no longer apply, since this book only covers up to 1945 or so), this is necessary reading. Kazin was a great writer, so this study never drags.
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Alfred Kazin (June 5, 1915 – June 5, 1998) was an American writer and literary critic, many of whose writings depicted the immigrant experience in early twentieth century America.

Kazin is regarded as one of "The New York Intellectuals", and like many other members of this group he was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and attended the City College of New York. However, his politics were
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