Contemporary American Novelists

Contemporary American Novelists

Contemporary American Novelists

Contemporary American Novelists

Excerpt

Harry T. Moore

The novelists discussed in this book are strictly contemporary, belonging to the newest phase of American writing. A few of them began to publish in the early 1940s, but the majority of them are postwar.

The present volume is, for the most part, made up of essays on individual authors, occasionally a pair of writers in one chapter. The only sections of the book which have appeared before are the first two. Norman Mailer Some Children of the Goddess was published in Esquire for July 1963, and John W. Aldridge The War Writers Ten Years Later was in The New York Times Book Review of July 29, 1962. It seemed best to put these before the essays which give more extended treatment to many of the writers whom Mr. Mailer and Mr. Aldridge discuss. The later critiques of these same authors may often disagree with that of Messrs. Mailer and Aldridge, just as the various writers of those pieces will occasionally have different views from one another about certain authors, as cross reference will show. This is all to the good: democracy at its finest permits healthy and courteous disagreement.

Not that the criticism in this book is lacking in savor. The Mailer-Aldridge articles get it off to a lively start, and they plainly say what they are for and against; but, like the other contributors, they don't, in expressing disagreement or disapproval, indulge in insult. And this is all that I am going to say about the contents of the book, for the authors . . .

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