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|Title:||The Early Thirties Novels of Erskine Caldwell (Depression, Southern, Grotesque)|
|Author(s):||Howard, William Leland|
|Department / Program:||English|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Abstract:||Erskine Caldwell wrote his finest novels between 1930 and 1935. The three novels published during this period were perhaps his most unique, and certainly his most popular, contributions to American literature. God's Little Acre, Tobacco Road, and Journeyman described Georgia grotesques whose primitivism and overt sexuality drew the attention of millions of readers. A fourth novel of the period, "Autumn Hill," was less successful. About Maine rather than Georgia and unpublished until the early 1950s, it reveals some of the flaws that mar his lesser works.
An analysis of these four novels provides insight into the artistic imagination of a popular novelist at the height of his creative powers. As the various adaptations of his works for stage and film make clear, Caldwell's literary accomplishments are not easily understood or emulated. His works were influenced by Leftist thought, modernism, naturalism, frontier humor, Transcendentalism, and the lives he observed in provincial America. The confluence of a variety of literary ideas with an original, imaginative style makes these novels of the early thirties unusual and important contributions to American literature.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2014-12-15|