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Modern American Grotesque: Literature and Photography Hardcover – September 8, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


“James Goodwin expertly traces the ancient roots of the grotesque from the grotto outward in this learned book that ranges widely and authoritatively through different time periods. In Goodwin's sure hands, numerous rich readings of numerous works of literature and photography—from Sherwood Anderson to Diane Arbus—explore time, art, and perception in pursuit of the modern American grotesque.”—Leonard Cassuto, professor of English, Fordham University and author of Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories

“James Goodwin’s scholarship is meticulous; he appears to have read everything germane to his inquiry and to be in a position draw on much else besides. The book is obviously the product of many years’ reading and reflection. I am filled with admiration for what Goodwin has accomplished. No college or university library can afford to be without Modern American Grotesque.” —Richard K. Cross, professor of English, University of Maryland

About the Author

James Goodwin is Professor of English at UCLA.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Ohio State University Press; 2 edition (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814211089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814211083
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,715,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an absolutely wonderful book if you're interested in Flannery O'Connor, Diane Arbus, Weegee and 20th century American photography. He deals with the strangely odd intersection of photography and literature in the grotesque, e.g. think of the carnival performer in O'Connor's Temple of the Holy Ghost and the various "freaks" that haunt us in Arbus's photographs. Goodwin treats Arbus with sensitivity and doesn't fall into the lazy trap of condemning her for "exploitation."
A. David Wunsch
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