The Midwest Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 3, Spring

"Aye, Chance, Free Will, and Necessity": Sister Carrie's Literary Interweavings
AS WE APPROACH the twentieth-century novel, scholars will take stock of where the study of major literary figures has gone and where it has yet to go. What opportunities have been missed? For example, according to literary myth, Theodore Dreiser began...
From Down South to Up South: An Examination of Geography in the Blues
THE GEOGRAPHY OF African Americans begins with the forced migration of enslaved Africans to the social and economic problems facing African Americans today in the deteriorating urban centers of America. From the blues to hip hop, African American music...
Getting to the Lighthouse: Virginia Woolf and Thomas Carlyle
[G]enius ... resembles the lighthouse in its working, which sends one ray and then no more for a time; save that genius is much more capricious in its manifestations and may flash six or seven beams in quick succession ... and then lapse into darkness...
How Not to Shed Tears, and What to Do, Instead: James Merrill
A FEW YEARS AGO Mary Karr, writing in Parnassus, lunged into an attack upon formalism in general and James Merrill, "the emperor of the new formalism," in particular. In the process she ventured to remind the reader what poetry was intended to accomplish....
In Defense of Flat Characters
ARTICLES IN HOW-TO MAGAZINES advising beginning writers are always urging them to create fictional characters that are complex, unpredictable, developing. It is the old E.M. Forster plea to make your characters "round," not "fiat." "Flat characters,"...
Writing about Native Americans: The Native and the Non-Native Critic/Author
AS A TEACHER of American literature, I have often asked myself who should be writing about Native American culture. Does it depend upon one's race, political viewpoint, or particular creative style? Tentatively, I have concluded that anyone interested...
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