James Gould Cozzens Essay - James Gould Cozzens Long Fiction Analysis

James Gould Cozzens Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

In an often-quoted letter written to his English publishers, James Gould Cozzens defined the essence of his work, “the point of it all,” as an attempt to give structure and understanding to “the immensity and the immense complexity” of human experience. This was more than a platitude for Cozzens; it was an obsession. “I wanted to show,” he continued, “the peculiar effects of the interaction of innumerable individuals functioning in ways at once determined by and determining the functioning of innumerable others.” Cozzens was sure that the key to understanding modern man lay neither in exploring the individual psyche nor in analyzing social institutions. Rather, he believed the key lay in exploring human interaction:...

(The entire section is 4294 words.)