Tag Archives: シオドー・ドライザー

from Grant Richards, “Author Hunting”



Grant Richards, ‘Author Hunting’ Chs. XV-XVI


Posted here (PDF file) above is

Grant Richards

Author Hunting By an Old Literary Sports Man

New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1934

Chapters XV-XVI


Narrates Richards’ role in persuading Century Company to finance Dreiser’s trip abroad and preparing the itinerary that would allow Dreiser to study Yerkes’ life in Europe and gain the experiences for A Traveler at Forty, which Richards found offensively indiscreet; also presents Frank Norris’s account of the suppression of Sister Carrie. (annotation, Pizer, Dowell, and Rusch, Theodore Dreiser, A Primary Bibliography and Reference Guide)


Franklin Thomas (Grant) Richards was an English publisher who, as is noted in A Theodore Dreiser Encyclopedia, “encouraged the writing of Jennie Gerhardt.”

In 1911 Richards was instrumental in making possible Dreiser’s first trip to Europe, which led to the publication of the latter’s A Traveler at Forty.

Richards, Renate von Bardeleben notes, “offered Dreiser a social entree into London drawing rooms and artistic circles as well as English country homes; he was his part­-time travel companion both in Paris and on the French Riviera, and, wherever needed, he provided Dreiser with detailed travel instructions.”

Dreiser portrayed Richards as “Barfleur” in A Traveler at Forty. His portrayal of Richards and his family and friends led to a dispute between the two and to what turned out to be the demise of their relationship.


See “Richards, (Franklin Thomas) Grant,” by Rebate von Bardeleben, in A Theodore Dreiser Encyclopedia, edited by Keith Newlin, pp. 322-324

— posted by Roger W. Smith

    October 2021


Roger W. Smith, “Some Thoughts About Dreiser; What a Close Acquaintance With His Life and Works Reveals”



‘Some Thoughts About Dreiser’


This article (downloadable Word document above) is based on a presentation by me to the Comparative Literature Department, Institute for Philology and History, Russian State University for the Humanities on March 19, 2001. It discusses the major features of Theodore Dreiser’s works, his career, and his personal views and relationships from the vantage point of close reading and study over more than three decades. He is shown to have inherited primarily from Balzac facility at mixing narrative and exposition in his novels. And of achieving, in his greatest work, An American Tragedy, great expressive power, creating a narrative that is compelling, despite his chronic weaknesses as a stylist. Some of Dreiser’s characteristic stylistic faults are identified It is shown that he was not a good writer when it came to painting word pictures and creating memorable characters. He tended to portray people as types, representing a social class and economic level than as idiosyncratic, individual characters.

Dreiser’s views of Russia (favorable and often adulatory) are contrasted with his virulent anti-British statements and writings. As well as his views of blacks, his thinly veiled snobbery and tendency to put on airs once he became successful, the ups and downs of his early career (including his brief career as an editor at Ev’ry Month) , his nuclear family, his painstaking research on The Financier, his abandoning and then resuming work on his second novel Jennie Gerhardt, and details of his trip to Russia in 1927-28 and individuals he met. There is also a brief discussion of the film versions of An American Tragedy.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   October 2021

Yuri Doykov on Dreiser


The following is an email from my friend and fellow researcher Yuri Doykov from Arkhangelsk, Russia:

About your article “Theodore Dreiser and the US Communist Press,” … it is interesting to know whether the “big” American press has celebrated the 150th anniversary of Dreiser’s birth. Our semi-official “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” has marked it with a “column” of a regular observer. This is understandable, since the country is following a neo-Stalinist course.

In your article there are things that are interesting to me that were kept silent in the Soviet Union. For example, anti-Semitism, hatred of “snobbish” England. Although, in my understanding, it was Dreiser and other representatives of the Red Decade who were sick with “snobbery”, admiring the Soviet Union and Stalin.

This enthusiasm, by the way, marked the beginning of the “disintegration” of the West, which Solzhenitsyn spoke about in his Harvard speech. Now the decay has led to the emergence of Mr. Trump and the New Year’s storming of the Capitol.

Best wishes,



— posted by Roger W. Smith

   October 13, 2021




final corrected version


Theodore Dreiser in the US Communist Press


This article involved examining and documenting over 400 articles in the US Communist press (and then choosing which among them to reference and quote). This involved not only documentation but also transcription; almost all of the quoted material was transcribed by me.
Mistakes were inevitable. A final corrected word document has been posted by me at


Roger W. Smith, “Theodore Dreiser in the US Communist Press”


— Roger W. Smith

   October 13, 2021

post changed



Theodore Dreiser in the US Communist Press is the title of a new essay of mine posted last week on this site at

Roger W. Smith, “Theodore Dreiser in the US Communist Press”


I have a few changes and edits. The revised Word document is posted on the site for downloading.


— Roger W. Smith


Теодор Драйзер, “Ленин” (Theodore Dreiser, “Lenin”)






lenin – new masses


Published in Pravda, April 22, 1940, pg. 7 (the seventieth anniversary of Lenin’s birth).

Published in English as “V. I. Lenin,” New Masses, April 23, 1940, pg. 16.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   October 2021




Roger W. Smith, “Theodore Dreiser in the US Communist Press”


Theodore Dreiser in the US Communist Press


My new article is posted here as a Word document.


— Roger W. Smith

   October 2021


Theodore Dreiser, “Tom Mooney”



Theodore Dreiser, ‘Tom Mooney’


Tom Mooney

by Theodore Dreiser

a pamphlet published April 1933

price 10 cents

“Mooney Talks to Dreiser, Says He Needs Champion”




Posted here:

“Mooney Talks to Dreiser, Says He Needs Champion”

The Fresno Bee, Fresno, California

Saturday, May 31, 1930

pg. 9


Thomas Joseph “Tom” Mooney (1882-1942) was an American political activist and labor leader, who was convicted with Warren K. Billings of the San Francisco Preparedness Day Bombing of 1916.

It quickly became apparent that Mooney and Billings had been convicted based on falsified evidence and perjured testimony and the Mooney case and campaigns to free him — in which Dreiser was active — became an international cause cause célèbre for two decades.

Mooney served 22 years in prison before finally being pardoned in 1939.




Theodore Dreiser, A Primary Bibliography and Reference Guide, Second Edition, by Donald Pizer, Richard W. Dowell, and Frederic E. Rusch lists sources about Dreiser and Tom Mooney.

Other sources not listed there include:

“Mooney and America,” Hesperian (San Francisco) 1, winter 1933 (reprinted in Theodore Dreiser: Political Writings, edited by Jude Davies)

“Dreiser Denounces Infamous Rolph Decision on Mooney,” Daily Worker, April 22, 1932

“Famous Writers Protest Method of Mooney Probe,” Daily Worker, November 4, 1932

“Mooney’s Release For Funeral Urged,” September 6, 1934


— posted by Roger W. Smith

    September 2021

Can writing (Dreiser’s) really be this bad?



Please see a new post on my rogers-rhetoric.com site:


Can writing really be this bad?