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Love and Death in the American Novel


One of the most celebrated, influential, and hotly debated books on American literature ever published. Continually in print for more than 30 years, ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of Love and Death in the American Novel

Overall customer rating: 5.000

Critic as Provocateur

by rejoyce on Sep 25, 2007

In a notorious essay, Leslie Fiedler contended that while European novelists such as Tolstoy and Flaubert were writing about adult heterosexual relationships, most of the classic American novels of the 19th century like Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Melville's Moby Dick were "boy's books" in which at their heart was a chaste homosexual bond (in Melville, there are multiple, interracial male pairings). The essay was entitled "Come Back to the Raft Agin, Huck Honey." In other essays, Fiedler prefigured cultural studies by writing about Superman and comic books, genre fiction and pop culture. This is literary critic as cultural provocateur, and Fiedler's major work will both enlighten and outrage. Of Love and Death in the American Novel, the New York Times wrote, "One of the great, essential works on the American imagination." This reader concurs.

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