A master of naturalism, Theodore Dreiser brought the American novel into the twentieth century. Fascinated by the city street, its parade of fashion and its threat of poverty and degradation, his journalistic eye lets us see as they were first seen the now familiar realities of modern living. "Jennie Gerhardt"`s vital but naive heroine emerges superior to the succession of men who exploit her. With honest emotion and respect for unvarnished truth. This work exemplifies the energy, originality, and genius of one of the great modern American writers.
Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser (English Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser; July 27, 1871, Terre Haute, Indiana - December 28, 1945, Hollywood) is an American writer and public figure. Early years Dreiser`s parents, John Dreiser and Sarah Schöneub, co-owned a wool spinning mill. After a fire that destroyed wool stocks, my father worked at a construction site, where he was seriously injured. Three eldest sons soon died. The family moved for a long time and, eventually, settled in the provincial town of Terre Haute in Indiana. Theodore Dreiser, the ninth child in the family, was born on August 27, 1871. In 1887 he graduated from school. In 1889 he entered Indiana State University. A year later, he stopped studying due to the fact that he could not pay for his studies. After that he worked as a clerk, a driver of a laundry van. Journalism Dreiser decides to become a reporter. From 1892 to 1894 he was a reporter for newspapers in Pittsburgh, Toledo, Chicago and St.
Louis. In 189...
Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser (English Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser; July 27, 1871, Terre Haute, Indiana - December 28, 1945, Hollywood) is an American writer and public figure. Early years Dreiser`s parents, John Dreiser and Sarah Schöneub, co-owned a wool spinning mill. After a fire that destroyed wool stocks, my father worked at a construction site, where he was seriously injured. Three eldest sons soon died. The family moved for a long time and, eventually, settled in the provincial town of Terre Haute in Indiana. Theodore Dreiser, the ninth child in the family, was born on August 27, 1871. In 1887 he graduated from school. In 1889 he entered Indiana State University. A year later, he stopped studying due to the fact that he could not pay for his studies. After that he worked as a clerk, a driver of a laundry van. Journalism Dreiser decides to become a reporter. From 1892 to 1894 he was a reporter for newspapers in Pittsburgh, Toledo, Chicago and St. Louis. In 1894 he moved to New York. His brother Paul Dresser organizes the music magazine Evry Mans, and Dreiser starts working as an editor. In 1897 he leaves the magazine. He wrote for the Metropolitan, Harpers, Cosmopolitan. One of the first literary works published by Dreiser is the essay "The Artistic Quarter of New York: A Literary and Artistic Retreat in Brockville" (Metropolitan magazine, November 1897). Prior to the appearance of his first novel in 1900, Dreiser published 42 articles and a number of poems. Dreiser pointed out in an interview with Who`s Who in America (1899) that he had written two books: A Study of Famous Contemporaries - essays on William II, Barnum, etc. - and Poems. Literature Novels The usual bibliography of Dreiser`s work begins with his novel Sister Kerry (1900). With this work, Dreiser continued the realistic traditions of the American writers of the late 19th century (F. Norris, S. Crane), but already in the conditions of the decline of this movement. The novel was greeted by critics and society with extremely hostility, as an "immoral" work. Without prejudice and the usual Puritanism of the time, Dreiser gave a realistic image of a girl who opposed generally accepted moral views. It was only in 1911 that Dreiser published his second novel, Jenny Gerhardt, in which he develops the themes of Sister Carrie. The American press passed over the publication of the novel in silence. With the novel The Financier (1912) Dreiser began his monumental Trilogy of Desire. It is based on the life story of the millionaire Ch. Yerkes. The hero of the "Trilogy" (the second volume - "Titan", 1914; the third volume - "Stoic" - Dreiser began in January 1929) - Frank Cowperwood; Dreiser shows how the bourgeois and commercial environment that surrounded Cowperwood, from childhood, forms in him the psychology of a businessman and an acquirer, for whom all means are good if they help to achieve power and wealth. Starting with small speculations, Cowperwood gradually acquires a fortune, bribes officials and the municipality, illegally acquires city concessions in Philadelphia, but in the final he is defeated, goes to prison and then is forced to leave Philadelphia. In the novel "Titan" Dreiser deploys Cowperwood`s life in Chicago, where the cycle of his activities in Philadelphia repeats on an expanded base. The Trilogy of Desire is the most significant work of American and European literature of the 20th century. With exceptional graphic power, Dreiser outlines the way of life and customs of the financial environment, a predatory approach to society and political unprincipledness. The attacks of conservative criticism especially intensified after the publication in 1916 of the novel "Genius", which Dreiser considers his best work. At the insistence of the Society for the Elimination of Vice, the court banned the distribution of the novel, and only later this ban was lifted. The theme of the novel is the deadening power of money and sensuality over art. The hero of the novel, the artist Vitla, whose purpose of existence is reduced only to art and women. This devastates his creativity, he becomes a successful businessman, loses his artistic ability; finally, he himself begins to realize that bourgeois society has destroyed him as an artist. In his novel American Tragedy (1925), Dreiser brings out the average American youth Griffiths, poorly educated, frivolous, weak-willed. The essence of the tragedy of Griffiths, who ends his life in the electric chair, is his social inability to adapt to the surrounding reality, combined with the desire to advance, take an exceptional position, enter bourgeois circles. Griffiths is a victim of American pseudo-democracy. As in all his novels, Dreiser in American Tragedy gives a broad picture of the customs and everyday life of the environment he portrays. The novel is considered one of the most successful works of the writer. Immediately after its release, it received good reviews from critics. In 1930, the Paramount Pictures film studio commissioned the script to the Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein. However, a month later, the contract is terminated - the script does not suit the studio. In addition, the Hollywood Technical Director`s Institute begins criticizing the director from the USSR. In 1931, Dreiser sued the studio. According to the writer, in the film directed by Joseph von Sternberg, the meaning of his book was distorted. Dreiser is a naturalist painter. He builds his works on the colossal material of observation and experience. His art is the art of depicting accurate to scrupulousness, the art of facts and things. Dreiser conveys everyday life in all its even the smallest details, he introduces documents, sometimes almost entirely taken from reality (Roberta Alden`s letters in "American Tragedy" are given almost entirely), quotes the press, at length explains the stock exchange speculations of his heroes, carefully traces the development of their business ventures etc. American critics have repeatedly accused Dreiser of lack of style, not understanding the special nature of his naturalistic style. Dreiser in all his works gravitates towards social themes, which does not prevent him from being an artist-psychologist. Taking social topics, he moves them into the plane of the individual psyche, showing as a result the psychologically individual side of large social phenomena. Dreiser`s limitation of the topic in volume is accompanied by its deepening. In November 1932, Dreiser signed a contract with Paramount to direct a film based on Jenny Gerhardt. In 1944, the American Academy of Arts and Letters awards Dreiser the Honorary Gold Medal for Excellence in the Arts and Literature. Essays and stories Dreiser owns two collections of stories - "Liberation" (1918) and "Chains", in which mainly psychological and sexual motives are developed. He also wrote two volumes of plays: The Potter`s Hand (1919) and Plays Natural and Supernatural (1916). Dreiser`s early essays on New York are collected in his book A Picture of a Great City (1923). "Hey Rub-A-Dub-Dub" (1919) - a collection of Dreiser`s articles, of which the most interesting article is "The American Financier". In 1926, a volume of Dreiser`s poems, Moods, was published, similar in form to Whitman. In addition to those indicated, Dreiser wrote the following works: "A Book of Myself" (1922, is the second volume of an autobiographical cycle; the first volume of "Dawn" was completed by Dreiser at the end of 1928), "Vacations" (1916) and "The Forty-Year-Old Traveler" (1913) - travel books. The Gallery of Women (1928) contains Dreiser`s biographical sketches, as well as the book The Twelve Men. As in the last book, Dreiser appeals to the most diverse social strata, looking for original, outstanding people in them. But the "Gallery of Women" sharply differs from the "Twelve Men" in that Dreiser emphasizes the sexual, it is in the sexual that he seeks an explanation of not only purely subjective, but also social actions and processes. Dreiser`s novel Madness (1929) is a series of love episodes, united by the fact that one hero is placed in the center of them - the author himself. In 1930, Dreiser`s candidacy was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. The prize went to the writer Sinclair Lewis by a majority vote. In May 1931, Dreiser`s autobiographical book "Zarya" was published, where he described his childhood and youth. Social Activities In 1927 Dreiser accepted an invitation to visit the USSR and take part in the celebration of the anniversary of the October Revolution. In early November, he arrived in the Soviet Union and on November 7 was in Red Square. During his 77-day trip, Dreiser visited Leningrad, Kiev, Kharkov, Rostov-on-Don, Baku, Tbilisi, Odessa and other cities, met with Vladimir Mayakovsky and Sergei Eisenstein. After the trip, he published the book "Dreiser Looks at Russia". In the early 1930s, miners clashed with the police in the mining regions of the United States - Harlan and Bella. Together with the commission of the committee for the protection of political prisoners, Dreiser goes to the scene. He was met with physical threats from the mine owners and the police. A lawsuit was filed against Dreiser and it was offered to withdraw it on condition that the writer ceases coverage of events. However, Dreiser continued to speak in newspapers and on the radio, reporting on the state of affairs - beatings of union members and police reprisals. In 1932 he published the book Tragic America. Dreiser often spoke at rallies, published in the pages of the US communist press. In 1932 he supported the candidate of the American Communist Party in the election campaign. In 1932 he was a member of the World Antiwar Congress, whose initiative committee included Henri Barbusse, Maxim Gorky, Albert Einstein. In 1938, Dreiser was delegated to an anti-war conference in Paris, opened in connection with the bombing of Spanish cities. In the summer he visited Barcelona, where he met with the President and Prime Minister of the country. On the way back he visited England, where he hoped to meet with members of the British government. In the United States, he managed to achieve a short meeting with Roosevelt. After that, he unsuccessfully tried to organize a committee for the supply of food to Spain. As a result, several cargo ships with flour were sent to Spain at the direction of Roosevelt. Theodore Dreiser died on December 28, 1945 at the age of 75. [b] Bibliography * Sister Carrie, trans. M. Volosova, L., 1927; * Jenny Gergard, transl. his, L., 1927; * Paints of New York ("Painting of the Great City"), transl. V.P.Steletsky, L., 1927; * Dynamov S., Theodore Dreiser, "Knigonosha", 1926, Ї 33; * Benny J., On the novels of Theodore Dreiser, New World, 1928, IX; * Rasko B., Creativity Theodore Dreiser, "At the literary post", 1928, XI-XII. * Theodore Dreiser by Burton Lascol, N.-Y., 1925; * Th. Dreiser, A Bibliography, by Ed. D. Mc Donald, Philadelphia, 1928; * Dreiser before "Sister Carrie", by Ed. D. Mc Donald, "The Bookman", v. LXVII, Ї 4, 1928. [b] Site about Theodore Dreiser | Wikipedia