T(homas) S(igismund) Stribling Robert Penn Warren - Essay

Robert Penn Warren

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Stribling has never been the first by whom the new was tried; he has nothing of the experimenter in his literary constitution. Nor is he the last, precisely to lay the old aside…. Stribling is primarily interesting as the index of a fashion which he has flattered with sober conscience and profound unoriginality.

Stribling's novels will appear in the history of our literature as a paragraph in the development, or conceivably the decline, of what is generally called critical realism in fiction. (p. 463)

As the naturalistic novel, in one sense, is based on a science, biology, so the realistic novel that we now know is based on a pseudo-science, sociology. The realistic novelist, like...

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