Monthly Archives: July 2021

Claire Bruyère on Sherwood Anderson and Dreiser


Claire Bruyere – Anderson and Dreiser TRANSLATION – final


“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

   July 2021

a review of “This Madness”


review of This Madness – Muskogee (Oklahoma) Democrat 2-5-1929


“This Madness” — a series of three sketches (” Aglaia,” “Elizabeth,” “Sidonie”) was a novella by Dreiser published in six installments in Hearst’s International-Cosmopolitan from February to July 1929. The first installment had the subheading “An Honest Novel about Love by the Man Who Wrote ‘An American Tragedy’ .”

The serialized novella “This Madness” was heavily advertised, but it received hardly any reviews. It was not, apparently, deemed worthy of critical attention.

This review appeared in the Muskogee (Oklahoma) Democrat of February 5, 1929.


See also my post

Theodore Dreiser, “This Madness”

on this site at

Theodore Dreiser, “This Madness”


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   July 2021

Edmund Wilson review of Tragic America


Edmund Wilson review of Tragic America – New Republic 5-30-1932


Posted here is Edmund Wilson’s review of Dreiser’s Tragic America in The New Republic of May 30, 1932.

It gets at — very effectively — the question of flagrant infelicities and weakness in Dreiser’s writing versus the strengths of same. And it perceptively examines how Dreiser’s thought and political views were evolving at the time and becoming more aligned with Communism.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   July 2021