Bob's Reviews > Radical Innocence, Studies in the Contemporary American Novel

Radical Innocence, Studies in the Contemporary American Novel by I. Hassan
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's review
Feb 23, 14

Read in February, 2014

Published in 1961, and recently discarded from the WCL collection, this book is an eerily right-on round up of 60s-era cutting-edge fiction, including expert analysis of some of my favorite novelists, including:
Saul Bellow, J.D. Salinger, Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, John Cheever, J.P. Donleavy, and Bernard Malamud, and Jack Kerouac.

Even cooler, he provides expert analysis of the current critical response, most significantly, "The Anatomy of Criticism" by Northrup Frye (which has been on my TO READ list since it was published in 1956, when I was 4 years old).

What we have here is a very useful mid-century summary view of the best American writers. Their works will endure, says I. Hassan, and he can tell you WHY.

sample quote:
"...a novelist may deny a closer influence in favor of a more distant tradition. This is the impression we take from recent works which approach the business of fiction, the business of Twain or Dostoyevsky, from that peculiar angle, somewhat crazy and askew, which a new conception of the hero requires.
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02/23/2014 marked as: read

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