Studies in American Fiction

This journal provides articles, notes and reviews on prose fiction of the United States since the colonial period.

Articles from Vol. 23, No. 2, Autumn

Hawthorne's Transplanting and Transforming "The Tell-Tale Heart"
Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The House of the Seven Gables (1851) has long been recognized as having an affinity with Edgar Allan Poe's tale "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839), especially with regard to setting and characters;(1) a reader may therefore...
Lifting the Lid on Poe's "Oblong Box"
The general indifference and lack of curiosity with which most readers have reacted to "The Oblong Box" seems to defy a natural human impulse to uncover what is concealed. Thomas Ollive Mabbott's dismissal of it as "one of Poe's less successful tales...
Mark Twain, William James, and the Funding of Freedom in 'Joan of Arc'
Beliefs at any time are so much experience funded. William James, Pragmatism(1) Mark Twain as hagiographer seems improbable, yet this is the Twain we encounter in his Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc. From his opening preface through the concluding...
"Not Precisely War Stories": Edith Wharton's Short Fiction from the Great War
On June 28, 1915, Edith Wharton wrote to her publisher Charles Scribner regarding both her experiences in wartime France and her plans for writing in the near future. "I have been given such unexpected opportunities for seeing things at the front," she...
Poe's "Diddling" and the Depression: Notes on the Sources of Swindling
In a recent article for Poe Studies, John E. Reilly discusses the possible sources for Poe's satire on swindling, "Diddling Considered as One of the Exact Sciences."(1) Disputing previous assumptions, Reilly argues that Poe's story may be derived from...
Poe's Dupin as Professional, the Dupin Stories as Serial Text
The reader of Poe's Dupin stories is caught between two contrary models of Dupin's professional status. On the one hand, Susan Beegel considers it "obvious" that Dupin is the "prototypical amateur detective" and thus by definition not a professional...
'The Scarlet Letter' and the Book of Esther: Scriptural Letter and Narrative Life
Why does Hawthorne give Hester Prynne the name Hester? The question seems an inevitable one for a writer like Hawthorne, who works at least partly in a Spenserian tradition of allegory. Dimmesdale's first name, Arthur, and Hawthorne's daughter's name,...
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