Dreiser's captivating portraits of turn-of-the-century America's famous figures
Before coming to national attention for his novel "Sister Carrie, " Theodore Dreiser worked for nearly a decade as a magazine editor and freelance writer. Now in paperback, "Art, Music, and Literature, 1897-1902" collects a rich selection of Dreiser's brief, colorful articles and interviews with American artists, musicians, and writers during this period. His profiles and interviews include such notables as Alfred Stieglitz, William Dean Howells, and legendary impresario Major James Burton Pond, as well as numerous women artists, novelists, and musicians. The volume is liberally seasoned with period illustrations reproduced from the original publications, and Yoshinobu Hakutani's notes provide biographical details about Dreiser's various subjects.
"A fascinating and indispensable addition to the Dreiser canon." Miles Orvell, Professor of English and American Studies, Temple University "Donald Pizer's new book proves he is among the best, if not the best, editor and compiler working the field of American literature. Combining an impressive command of the era with an unmatched knowledge of Dreiser's life, Pizer has brought the letters to life, filling in both the foreground and background of the letters and bringing continuity to what easily could have become a series of disparate documents." Richard Lehan, editor of Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie, Jennie Gerhardt, Twelve Men "The letters Donald Pizer has included in A Picture and a Criticism of Life document Dreiser's immersion in the business of authorship, his commitment to a variety of progressive causes and his struggle to shape an enduring philosophy. Collectively, they describe the circumstances of a literary life in the first half of the twentieth century...there are moments of surprise and illumination...the letters cast light on Dreiser's prickliness, his narcissism and his deep-set prejudices. They also document his lifelong restlessness and his lust for experience of every sort. Pizer's annotations are concise and useful." William P. Kelly, Times Literary Supplement, May 30th 2008