John Dos Passos Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

John Dos Passos Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Readers of John Dos Passos’s unusual novels have attempted to define the writer as a chronicler, a historian, or a critic of twentieth century America. To these titles, Dos Passos added another dimension by calling himself “an architect of history.” Indeed, his works move in skillfully drawn directions—horizontally across continents, vertically through socioeconomic strata, temporally to the deepest places of memory. Considering further Dos Passos’s training in architecture and painting, it is not solely by conventional literary means that students can come to grips with his novels; the reader must also be a good viewer. In fact, in the best of his long fiction—Three Soldiers, Manhattan Transfer, and...

(The entire section is 3099 words.)