Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Cozzens's primary technique here and in most of his fiction is his own brand of realism, a realism which is marked by the extreme compression...

(The entire section is 164 words.)

Social Concerns

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Cozzens does not use his novels as a forum for his personal views, so they do not contain broad statements on social issues. Cozzens tries,...

(The entire section is 258 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Fiction)

Bracher, Frederick. The Novels of James Gould Cozzens. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1959. Of the eight novels by Cozzens published between 1931 and 1959, Bracher argues that at least four of them are of “major importance by any set of standards.” Defends Cozzens from attacks by critics for his lack of personal commitment, showing him to be a novelist of intellect whose strength is storytelling. A thorough commentary on Cozzens’s literary career.

Bruccoli, Matthew J. James Gould Cozzens: A Life Apart. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983. This book-length story of Cozzens is essentially a biography with useful information on his upbringing and his development as a novelist. Includes a chapter each on Guard of Honor and By Love Possessed and an appendix containing excerpts from his notebooks. A must for any serious scholar of Cozzens.

Hicks, Granville. James Gould Cozzens. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1966. An accessible introduction to Cozzens with some criticism of his novels from Confusion to Guard of Honor and By Love Possessed. Argues that the pretentiousness in Cozzens’s early work was transformed in later novels to “competent, straightforward prose.”

Mooney, John Harry, Jr. James Gould Cozzens: Novelist of Intellect. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1963. A straightforward, useful study. Each chapter focuses on a different novel, from S.S. San Pedro to Castaway, and the final chapter covers the critical material available on Cozzens.

Pfaff, Lucie. The American and German Entrepreneur: Economic and Literary Interplay. New York: Peter Lang, 1989. Contains a chapter on Cozzens and the business world, with subsections on “The Business Activities of Henry Dodd Worthington,” “Small Business,” and “Recurring Themes.” Pfaff is particularly interested in Cozzens’s entrepreneurs.

Sterne, Richard Clark. Dark Mirror: The Sense of Injustice in Modern European and American Literature. New York: Fordham University Press, 1994. Contains a detailed discussion of The Just and the Unjust.

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Two precedents bear mentioning. First, Cozzens stands naturally at the logical end of the movement of literary realism. Once the portrayal of...

(The entire section is 212 words.)

Related Titles

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Since Cozzens's whole career marks his movement toward greater and greater realism, all his novels are related to this one. But his use of...

(The entire section is 725 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Almost before the book came off the presses, Cozzens sold the movie rights; estimates of how much he was paid range from $100,000 to...

(The entire section is 98 words.)