Confronting the Horror: The Novels of Nelson Algren by James R. Giles

By James R. Giles

Because naturalism turns out antithetical to modernism and literary existentialism, mild cognizance has been given to the life of a latest, or post-World conflict II, naturalism. certainly, the very time period serves as a synonym for "old fashioned." whereas comprehensible, this view has contributed to the misperception, if no longer overlook, of a number of American writers who got here to prominence within the overdue Nineteen Forties and Nineteen Fifties. James Jones coined the time period "the unfound new release" to explain those writers. The profession of Nelson Algren exemplifies this phenomenon.

Nelson Algren has constantly been an enigmatic determine, even on the height of his occupation. Algren himself used to be the resource of a few of the confusion yet he was once additionally the sufferer of an extended carrying on with serious misperception, that as a disciple of Theodore Dreiser he under pressure exterior truth and social protest. in reality, whereas he by no means wavered in his dedication to the "lumpenproletariat", society's outcasts, his imaginative and prescient advanced considerably, specifically via his acquaintance with Sartre, Beauvoir, and Celine. Algren's top paintings displays his melancholy over the "absurd" a minimum of up to his outrage over social and monetary injustice.

In Confronting the Horror, James R. Giles examines the evolution of Algren's significant themes--external oppression and inner anxiousness. He discusses Algren's fiction in terms of Maxim Gorky's clarification of the "lower depths" and the works of 2 modern writers, Hubert Selby, Jr., and John Rechy, who mix naturalistic process with a mostly existential, absurdist imaginative and prescient. Giles end is forcefully argued, that Algren's novels are thematically richer and extra advanced than hitherto appeared and symbolize the paintings of an American author of the 1st order.

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