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Sherwood Anderson (1876 1941)

Related: 1876 - grotesque literature - American literature

Winesburg, Ohio (1919) - Sherwood Anderson
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Biography

Sherwood Anderson (September 13, 1876 March 8, 1941) was an American writer, mainly of short stories, most notably the collection Winesburg, Ohio. His influence on American fiction was profound; his literary voice can be heard in Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, John Steinbeck, and others. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherwood_Anderson [Aug 2006]

Winesburg, Ohio (1919) - Sherwood Anderson

Winesburg, Ohio is a critically acclaimed work of fiction by the American author Sherwood Anderson. The book, written in 1919 is a collection of related short stories, which could be loosely defined as a novel. The stories center around the protagonist George Willard and the inhabitants of the fictional town of Winesburg, Ohio. The work explores the theme of loneliness and frustration in small-town America. Anderson's writing often seems disjointed and tentative, a style that lends itself to the half-conscious thoughts and raw emotions of Winesburg's residents and their inability to express their deepest hopes and fears. The townspeople are grotesques, stunted morally, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually, and they are inarticulate. They seem to gravitate toward George, telling him their strange, often sad, stories in the hope that, in writing the stories of their lives, he will be able to impart dignity and meaning to their personal struggles and experiences.

The critical reception to Winesburg, Ohio upon its publication was positive, but it did not receive a wide readership. Among the literati, it was very highly regarded, but its sales were modest. It is now regarded as one of the finest American novels of the 20th century. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winesburg%2C_Ohio_%28novel%29 [Mar 2005]

Dark Laughter (1925) - Sherwood Anderson

Dark Laughter was Sherwood Anderson's 1925 novel which took up much the same theme as his 1923 novel Many Marriages, though he read James Joyce's Ulysses in between. The influence of "Ulysses" is clear in Dark Laughter. While Winesburg, Ohio is Anderson's best known work today, Dark Laughter was the only bestseller of Anderson's lifetime. It has been out of print since the early 1960s and most contemporary critics consider the novel a failure (among them Kim Townsend, the author of the most recent biography of Anderson, published in 1985). It is riddled with racist and sexist language and stereotypes that make it difficult reading today.

Ernest Hemingway wrote a ruthless parody of the novel, The Torrents of Spring. Hemingway's novella pokes fun at the pretentions of Anderson's style and characters, and the parody ended the friendship between the young Hemingway and his former mentor. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Laughter [Aug 2006]

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