About

This site is devoted to the American writer Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945). Hopefully, it will be of interest both to scholars and to readers with a general interest in the works of Dreiser.

The site has been developed as a successor to the web site Dreiser Online, which was begun by Roger W. Smith in 2008.

Someone visiting this site for the first time might want to read the following posts:

Roger W. Smith, “Biographical Sketch of Theodore Dreiser”

https://dreiseronlinecom.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/roger-w-smith-biographical-sketch-of-theodore-dreiser/

a Theodore Dreiser chronology, by Roger W. Smith

ttps://dreiseronlinecom.wordpress.com/2018/05/27/dreiser-chronology-by-roger-w-smith/

quotes and comments re Dreiser

https://dreiseronlinecom.wordpress.com/2018/05/08/quotes-and-comments-re-dreiser/

Among the important, newly added — and original — material on this site are articles based on original scholarship by Roger W. Smith. For example:

Roger W. Smith, “Lorenzo A. Hopkins, Emma Wilhelmina Dreiser, and Family”

https://dreiseronlinecom.wordpress.com/2016/10/08/roger-w-smith-lorenzo-a-hopkins-emma-wilhelmina-dreiser-and-family/

Roger W. Smith, “The Real Julia Hurstwood and the Lutz Murder Case”

https://dreiseronlinecom.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/the-real-julia-hurstwood-and-the-lutz-murder-case/

Roger W. Smith, “Theodore Dreiser, Ervin Nyiregyházi, Helen Richardson, and Marie Pergain”

https://dreiseronlinecom.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/theodore-dreiser-ervin-nyiregyhazi-helen-richardson-and-marie-pergain/

Roger W. Smith, “Dreiser’s Nephew Carl”
https://dreiseronlinecom.wordpress.com/2020/05/20/roger-w-smith-dreisers-nephew-carl/

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In general, content about Dreiser can be found on this site can be found using a keyword search.

Or one can search by Categories (on the right). Some key categories pointing to posts of interest are the following:

An American Tragedy

film adaptations

genealogy

Gillette case

obituaries

writings by Dreiser

Where material of interest to the serious student of Dreiser and scholars can be found.

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My acquaintance with and interest in Dreiser contains elements of both scholarship and the pure joy of reading Dreiser as a non scholar.

I became interested in Dreiser as a general reader. My appreciation was enhanced by an extensive acquaintance with and deep knowledge of literature.

I have devoted considerable time and energy to Dreiser research and to collecting materials about him. In the process, I have built up an extensive library of Dreiserana and have collected many articles and miscellaneous materials.

Despite the great deal of time and attention I have devoted to Dreiser, my literary interests and enthusiasms are not confined to him. I have posted blog posts elsewhere, and have published book reviews, about writers such as Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Henry Miller, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, and Edwin O’Connor.

I am not particularly interested in literary criticism or literary theory. I am mainly interested in Dreiser the writer qua writer, Dreiser the man, and Dreiser’s life.

I am interested in uncovering facts and so forth that reveal more about Dreiser. Many stones have been left unturned, and many inaccuracies and misconceptions persist.

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Please note: Documents and images posted here — e.g., Word files, PDF files, JPEG files — are downloadable. You merely have to point and click, which will enable you to either open the document or to download (save) it.

If you place the cursor over an image, a caption should appear (for images that are captioned).

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I am willing to share information with other Dreiser researchers and scholars. I have an extensive library of Dreiserana, and I have collected an enormous amount of material about Dreiser, including thousands of articles, many of them not easily accessible. I have a great deal of material in electronic format. This includes scanned documents and material copied from library collections or downloaded from research databases. I believe that much of the material is irretrievable elsewhere.

I have been somewhat surprised by the fact that some persons whom I have assisted with Dreiser related research and writing have hardly bothered to acknowledge my assistance or thank me. A thank you would be welcome. Basic courtesy is not un-apropos to the academic realm!

Worse things have happened, such as wholesale use of my materials (including primary source materials and new discoveries about Dreiser) with insufficient attribution or acknowledgment — or no acknowledgment at all — by scholars who should know better.

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Comments and inquiries about this site may be directed via email to Roger W. Smith at

brandeis106@gmail.com

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Roger W. Smith is an independent scholar based in New York City with expertise in English and early twentieth century American literature. He is the former bibliographer of Dreiser Studies and has published several articles and reviews on Theodore Dreiser and his contemporaries. His book reviews on American literature have appeared in major daily newspapers.

Mr. Smith has been a member of the International Theodore Dreiser Society since its founding in 1991.

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