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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Hardcover, 1289 numbered pages with Dust Jacket. DJ has many small tears along the edges, fading on the spine. Binding good, pages have no writing/highlighting. Fulfilled by Amazon.
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The Shock of Recognition: The Development of Literature in the United States Recorded by the Men Who Made It Hardcover – 1955

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: New York, Farrar, Straus and Cudahy; revised ed. edition (1955)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0013RE2HG
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.6 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Richard A. Ellis on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In 1943, Edmund Wilson edited "The Shock of Recognition" for Doubleday, and in 1955 a second edition was published for the Modern Library. (This second edition is what I am reviewing.) It is a door-stopper (1290-page) collection of well-known American authors writing about other well-known American authors. In his forward, Wilson says this is not a "critical anthology" but "a chronicle of the progress of literature in the United States as one finds it recorded by those who had some part in creating that literature." He has excluded pieces by "professional literary critics." As a result of this happy decision, we have in one volume a huge collection of fine writing on American literature. Some of the pieces are short, others run to well over 100 pages. Some will probably be familiar, others not.
We have 11 short pieces by Poe on writers such as Longfellow and Hawthorne; Melville's 'Hawthorne and His Mosses"; Bayard Taylor's "Diversions of the Echo Club", on many 19-century American authors; Henry James' "Hawthorne" (complete); Twain's famous ""Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses" (hilarious, worth the price of admission alone); William Dean Howells on Twain; a long piece by Henry Adams on George Cabot Lodge; D.H. Lawrence's well-known "Studies in Classic American Literature" (complete, also wonderful); and 90 pages of H. L. Mencken, including a very perceptive piece on Dreiser, easily the best thing I've ever read on him.
This is a book to dip into at leisure, and savor some fine writing about fine writing. But why is it out of print?
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By Lou Rowan on January 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This classic should be reprinted. Authors taking on each other work: this is the kind of criticism needed in classes, and beyond.
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By Johnb on October 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Classic anthology of American writers reflecting on American writers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
excellent
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