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THE EDITING OF AMERICAN LITERATURE, 1890-1930

ESSAYS AND REVIEWS


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Sinopse

Since the 1960s, Donald Pizer has been writing about late-19th-century American literature, with an emphasis on the major fiction of Theodore Dreiser and Stephen Crane. Most academics whose interests lie primarily in the preparation of scholarly editions are attracted to the paradoxical mix of adherence to a rigorous process and an opportunity for speculative thinking that is distinctive to this branch of literary studies. And they often find appealing the notion that the end product of their labors is a book that, unlike much criticism, is sure to be used by others and to have a long lifespan. However, Pizer came to textual discussion from a different direction than most editors of scholarly editions, who seldom wrote criticism about the authors and works they were engaged in editing. Consequently, Pizer was drawn into the “text wars” of scholarly editions and during the last three decades of the 20th century he produced a number of essays tackling this sometimes contentious subject. The Editing of American Literature, 1890-1930 collects Donald Pizer’s essays and reviews that examine the issues associated with providing authoritative scholarly editions of major turn-of-the-century American authors. Divided into four sections—general essays on editing; essays and reviews on the editing of Theodore Dreiser; essays and reviews on the editing of Stephen Crane; and essays on the interplay of textual theory and critical interpretation in works by Crane and John Dos Passos—the volume expresses a distinctive position in the text wars that dominated the editing scene of the 1970-2000 period. This collection of essays will be of interest to textual editors of any persuasion as well as literary critics and scholars with a special interest in late 19th- and early 20th-century American literature.

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