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The Significant Hamlin Garland

The Significant Hamlin Garland

A Collection of Essays

By Donald Pizer

This book collects the best of Donald Pizer’s essays dealing with Hamlin Garland’s early work and activities in to re-establish the importance of this formative stage in his career.

PDF, 126 Pages


October 2014

£18.36, $30.36

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  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents

About This Book

In this collection of essays on Hamlin Garland, Donald Pizer attempts to re-establish the wealth and importance of the early work and activities of the radical, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer from the Midwest. Essays in the opening half of the book are devoted to Garland’s radical economic and artistic beliefs and activities, while those in the second part concentrate on his most permanent, well-known work of this period: ‘Main-Travelled Roads, Rose of Dutcher’s Coolly’, and ‘A Son of the Middle Border’.

In the preface to this volume, Pizer traces the overall coherence of Garland’s early ideas and fiction. Garland, Pizer demonstrates, found in his reading of radical writers of the period an explanation of the hardships and limitations of prairie life that he had personally experienced; he then translated this union of concept and actuality into a powerful expressive tool in his acclaimed prairie fictions.

Pizer includes several of his late essays on Garland in this book, in which he suggests, on the basis of his own critical development, that Garland’s finest writing dealing with late nineteenth-century Midwestern life also contains sexual and Edenic themes which transcend the immediate social and economic conditions of this period and help to explain the significance and lastingness of his early body of work.


‘Donald Pizer has long been regarded as the leading scholar on Hamlin Garland. The articles collected in this volume trace Pizer’s engagement with the subject and reflect a scholar’s comprehensive grasp of the literary currents of the age. An essential book for the study of American fiction.’ —James Nagel, University of Georgia

‘Pizer enjoys a wide reputation as the most important scholar of American literary naturalism in general and of Hamlin Garland in particular. In the 1950s and 1960s Pizer first established the significance of Garland’s work, and his essays have shaped all subsequent scholarship. He later revisited Garland, measuring the writer against new directions in critical trends and reaffirming Garland’s continuing appeal for new generations of students and scholars.’ —Keith Newlin, University of North Carolina Wilmington

‘In “The Significant Hamlin Garland” Pizer gathers his pioneering essays about the life and career of an early Pulitzer Prize recipient. It contains the best work by a major critic on an important American author.’ —Gary Scharnhorst, University of New Mexico

Author Information

Donald Pizer is the Pierce Butler Professor of English Emeritus at Tulane University.


Anthem Nineteenth-Century Series

Table of Contents

Preface; A Selected Secondary Bibliography; Editorial Note and Acknowledgments; 1. Hamlin Garland in the ‘Standard’; 2. Hamlin Garland and the Prairie West; 3. Hamlin Garland and the Radical Drama in Boston, 1889–91; 4. A Summer Campaign in Chicago: Hamlin Garland Defends a Native Art; 5. ‘Main-Travelled Roads’; 6. ‘Main-Travelled Roads’ Revisited; 7. ‘Rose of Dutcher’s Coolly’; 8. Sexuality in ‘Rose of Dutcher’s Coolly’; 9. ‘A Son of the Middle Border’; Notes; Index

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