The Early Novel of the Southwest

The Early Novel of the Southwest

The Early Novel of the Southwest

The Early Novel of the Southwest

Excerpt

Any literary work, I suppose, while reflecting its past and present, simultaneously influences both the contemporary and future scenes. Thus, it must be viewed in its relation to its background, or as a product of its time and place: in its relation to its author, either for its value in shedding light on the author's life or for the light that the author's life sheds on it (or even for both reasons); and in its relation to other literature--its place in literary history, its relation to other works written at the same time, or to other works of the same genre. Also, an imaginative literary work, as perhaps distinguished from a factual one, is a work of art, an entity in itself, suspended in time and achieving a merit that is commensurate with the aesthetic design it takes and with the philosophical flexibility it might demonstrate. These principles, admittedly unoriginal but nonetheless pertinent, constitute the evaluative foundations upon which my historical and critical study of the early novel of the Southwest is constructed.

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