James T. Farrell on “An American Tragedy” (from “Bernard Clare”)

 

James T. Farrell (1904-1979) was a great admirer of Dreiser. In his underrated novel Bernard Clare (The Vanguard Press, 1946), Farrell pays indirect tribute to Dreiser by having his two main characters engage in a discussion of An American Tragedy, about which the character Eva makes perceptive comments.

Many readers of An American Tragedy (and the admirers and makers of the film A Place in the Sun) have missed the point about the distinction between Roberta Alden and Sondra Finchley made here, although Dreiser certainly didn’t.

An excerpt from Bernard Clare is attached.

 

from ‘Bernard Clare’

 

 

 

 

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