Writers Tournament: #7 Seeds

ALL-TIME AMERICAN WRITERS TOURNAMENT

StephenCrane1899

(Stephen Crane.)
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Our latest entrants into the big event:

A.)  Stephen Crane.

For pure writing talent, few American writers match the author of The Red Badge of Courage, “The Open Boat,” and other classics. Decades before Hemingway, Crane saw writing visually, like a painting. His works are expressionist explosions of color and emotion.

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(Art: “Evening Sun” by Otto Dix.)

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B.)  Carl Sandburg.

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Sandburg’s poetry reflected his home base of Chicago: rough-hewn, proletarian, and real. A voice of the Great Depression of the Thirties. An American cultural giant in the Fifties. Thoroughly populist, his clear-but-strong poems were accessible to everyone.

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C.)  J.D. Salinger.

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He’s most widely known for his assigned-in-high school study of adolescence, Catcher in the Rye. But his best work is Nine Stories— nine well-crafted modernist gems of fiction synthesizing those twin pillars of American literature, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of the jewels contains the best short story title ever: “For Esme with Love and Squalor.”

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D.)  Kenneth Rexroth.

A forerunner of, and large influence on, the Beats, this San Francisco poet’s uncompromising work was more accomplished. Would Ginsberg’s “Howl” have been possible without the example of Rexroth’s powerful masterpiece, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”?

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Appreciation #1

“William Burroughs” by D.C. Miller

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ALL-TIME AMERICAN WRITERS TOURNAMENT

The most cerebral of post-war American writers, William S. Burroughs belongs to the tradition of literary rebels and exiles, and perhaps was its last representative. Only his earliest books fall under the definition of novels, but he invented a new kind of writing, a form of anti-novel, or theory-fiction, conceived in terms closer to deprogramming then self-expression. With a typewriter, a needle and an independent income, Burroughs stood apart from mainstream society, observing it with an unflinching gaze. From Naked Lunch through the Nova Trilogy his work describes a search for escape. He states his own position in the introduction to Queer. “What are you rewriting? A lifelong preoccupation with Control and Virus. Having gained access the virus uses the host’s energy, blood, flesh and bones to make copies of itself. Model of dogmatic insistence never never from without was screaming in my ear, “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!”
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D.C. Miller’s twitter address is @dctv_od