Twentieth Century Literature

A quarterly journal of scholarly literary criticism publishing refereed papers on all aspects of twentieth-century literature, including English-language essays on literature in other languages.

Articles from Vol. 44, No. 3, Fall

Constructed Narratives and Writing Identity in the Fiction of Katherine Anne Porter
Readers of Katherine Anne Porter's fiction may notice a similarity among "Old Mortality," "He," "Noon Wine," and "Holiday." This study will attempt to establish a paradigmatic frame of reference that reflects Porter's concerns regarding the importance...
Cranford Revisited: Ford's Debt to Mrs. Gaskell in 'The Good Soldier.'
Ever since Mark Schorer first characterized The Good Soldier's, John Dowell as a narrator incapable of passion, sexual and moral alike (now close to 50 years ago), critics of Ford's most acclaimed novel have seemed unwilling to let poor Dowell alone...
(Dis)orienting Spectacle: The Politics of 'Orlando's' Sapphic Camp
I should like to write a novel certainly: a novel that would be as lovely as a Persian carpet, and as unreal. - Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (67) In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing. - Oscar Wilde,...
Dreiser's 'The Financier' and the Horatio Alger Myth
Critical discussions of Theodore Dreiser's The Financier (1912) are often saturated with references to Horatio Alger. Robert Penn Warren, for example, once characterized the plot of The Financier as, among other things, an attempt to modernize "the...
Green and Dying in Chains: Dylan Thomas's "Fern Hill" and Kenneth Grahame's 'The Golden Age.'
The next few years will obviously see a spate of writing about Thomas - his vision, imagery, technique etc. - and the writers will be beset by two distinct and opposite dangers - the danger of trying to equip him too exactly with a literary pedigree...
"That Joyous Certainty": History and Utopia in Tillie Olsen's Depression-Era Literature
Utopian consciousness wants to look far into the distance, but ultimately only in order to penetrate the darkness so near it of the just lived moment, in which everything that is both drives and is hidden from itself. - Ernst Bloch, The Principle...
The 'Alexandra Quartet': The Homosexual as Teacher/guide
The tendency has been to unsex Lawrence Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet without acknowledging that Durrell fully grounded the novel in sex, not merely as a theme but as a valorizing substructure. For example, in an otherwise careful analysis of the...