“He does not tremble. Often I have thought of him as the bravest man who has lived in America in our times. Perhaps I exaggerate. He is a man of my own craft and always he has been a heroic figure in my own eyes.” — Sherwood Anderson, introduction to Theodore Dreiser, Free and Other Stories
Above is an excerpt from Sherwood Anderson: l’impuissance créatrice (Paris: Klincksieck 1986), by Claire Bruyère.
A personal note: I find Anderson’s embrace, at the outset, of the “revolutionary” ideals of the American Communist left; and his subsequent reservations about “revolutionary fervor” morphing into a sort of Puritanism or intolerance very revealing. His ideas alluded to here are in accord with those of writers such as Edmund Burke and Sorokin whom I have been reading, and are in accord with my own grave misgivings about political correctness, cancel culture, and other contemporary movements wherein disagreement is seen as unpardonable among supposedly enlightened, “decent” people.
— posted by Roger W. Smith