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Sherwood Anderson: Criticism and Reviews

Winesburg, Ohio

Introduction to Winesburg, Ohio by Irving Howe

Additional criticism and review of Sherwood Anderson's works can be found at your local public library.

The following reviews can be accessed online only by an individual who has a current library card through this address.

"Sherwood Anderson: Overview."
Critic: David Stouck.
Reference Guide to American Literature, 3rd ed., edited by Jim Kamp, St. James Press, 1994.

"In an interview for the Paris Review (Spring 1956), William Faulkner stated that Sherwood Anderson was 'the father of my generation of American writers and the tradition of American writing which our successors will carry on.'"

"Winesburg, Ohio: Overview."
Critic: Jean Frantz Blackall.
Reference Guide to American Literature, 3rd ed., edited by Jim Kamp, St. James Press, 1994.

"Sherwood Anderson and the Postmodern Novel."
Critic: David Stouck.
Source: Contemporary Literature, Vol. XXVI, No. 3, Fall, 1985, pp. 302-16.

"In this critical essay, Stouck endeavors to 'suggest some of the ways in which Anderson's imaginative vision, his handling of plot and character, and his stylistic mannerisms are continuous with those of a number of contemporary mainstream writers of fiction.'"

"Sherwood Anderson After 20 Years."
Critic: David D. Anderson.
Source: The Midwest Quarterly, Winter, 1962 (and reprinted in The Achievement of Sherwood Anderson: Essays in Criticism, edited by Ray Lewis White, University of North Carolina Press, 1966, pp. 246-56).

"[Each of the] best of [Anderson's] essays ... [is] an attempt to come closer to an understanding of an individual, a group, or a set of circumstances [and] ... is dominated by…"

"Death in the Woods: Overview."
Critic: R.V. Cassill.
Source: Reference Guide to Short Fiction, 1st ed., edited by Noelle Watson, St. James Press, 1994.

"In this highly successful book readers encountered an author who was going to reform the texture and aims of American fiction. By his chosen subjects and his sympathies with the endemic loneliness of small town life he…"

"'Hands': Overview."
Critic: Charles E. May.
Source: Reference Guide to Short Fiction, 1st ed., edited by Noelle Watson, St. James Press, 1994.

"In his Memoirs Anderson said, 'There are no plot stories in life.' 'Hands' is one of the most clearly impressionistic stories in the collection and thus a central example of Anderson's development of what critics have called…"

"'I Want to Know Why': Overview."
Critic: Grace Eckley.
Source: Reference Guide to Short Fiction, 1st ed., edited by Noelle Watson, St. James Press, 1994.

"'I Want to Know Why,' published in the collection The Triumph of the Egg: A Book of Impressions of American Life in Tales and Poems (1921) -- Sherwood Anderson's fifth book -- reflects the many menial jobs in his youth that familiarized him with the people and procedures of livery stables and race-horse stables. A variation of a journey of initiation, "I Want to Know Why" presents a boy of 15 years…"

"An Overview of 'Sophistication.'"
Critic: John S. Reist, Jr.
Source: Exploring Short Stories, Gale Research, 1998.

"Ever since 'Sophistication' appeared in 1919 as part of the ending of Winesburg, Ohio reviewers and critics have been unable to account for the continuing hold it has on the artistic and educational worlds. Even though we live in a highly technological, industrialized world, the cluster of stories which make up the novel still provides a telling account of …"

"A Discussion of Winesburg, Ohio."
Critic: Tyrus Miller
Source: Novels for Students, Gale Research, 1998.

In this essay, Miller discusses the thematic and formal significance of storytelling in Winesburg, Ohio.

"All Over the Lot."
Critic: H. W. Boynton.
Source: The Bookman, New York, Vol. XLIX, No. 6, August, 1919, pp. 728-34. Reprinted in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 24.

In this essay, Boynton "discusses Winesburg, Ohio as a work which candidly treats the inner lives of typical small-town individuals."

"Winesburg, Ohio."
Critic: Floyd Dell.
Source: The Liberator, New York, Vol. 2. No. 9, September, 1919, p. 47. Reprinted in Twentienth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 24.

"Winesburg, Ohio."
Critic: Rebecca West.
Source: New Statesman, Vol. XIX, No. 484, July 22, 1922, pp. 443-44. Reprinted in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 24.

"In this essay, West, who is considered one of the foremost English novelists and critics of the twentieth century, contends that Winesburg, Ohio is best appreciated as poetry rather than fiction."

"Sherwood Anderson and the Lyric Story."
Critic: Sister M. Joselyn.
Source: The Twenties: Poetry and Prose, 20 Critical Essays, edited by Richard E. Langford and William E. Taylor, Everett Edwards, Inc., 1966, pp. 70-3. Reprinted in Short Stories for Students, Vol. 4.

In this essay, the critic "offers her interpretation of Anderson's use of lyric and epic elements in 'Sophistication.'"

"Three Not of a Kind."
Critic: William Lyon Phelps.
Source: The Dial, Vol. LXI, No. 725, September 21, 1916, pp. 196-97. Reprinted in Twentieth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 10.

"[Windy McPherson's Son] has a certain raw vitality..., but its crudity jars. One longs for less matter, with more art…."

"An Apology for Crudity."
Critic: Sherwood Anderson.
Source: The Dial, Vol. LXIII, No. 753, November 8, 1917, pp. 437-38. Reprinted in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 10.

"[Anderson reveals his theory of style in the insightful essay 'An Apology for Crudity,' excerpted below.] 'For a long time I have believed that crudity is an inevitable quality in the production of a really significant present-day American literature....'"

"A Country Town."
Critic: Maxwell Anderson.
Source: The New Republic, Vol. 19, No. 242, June 25, 1919, pp. 257, 260. Reprinted in Twentieth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 10

"Every middle westerner will recognize Winesburg, Ohio, as the town in which he grew up.... There is outward repose over Winesburg, a garment of respectable repose covering alike the infinite pain, the grief, the agony of futile groping, the momentary flare of beauty or passion…"

"Overview of 'Death in the Woods.'"
Critic: Sarah Madsen Hardy.
Source: Short Stories for Students, Vol. 10, The Gale Group, 2000.

"'Death in the Woods' opens with a description of its central character, the old woman, as a familiar type that anyone from a small town would recognize. She is a common and simple woman who…"

"Compulsion Toward Repetition: Sherwood Anderson's 'Death in the Woods.'"
Critic: William J. Scheick.
Source: Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. XI, No. 2, Spring, 1974, pp. 141-46. Reprinted in Short Stories for Students, Vol. 10.

"In spite of its generally recognized excellence, 'Death in the Woods' has frequently escaped careful study. It has been read as a story presenting death as inevitable though not terrible, concerning the pathos of a woman's life and the narrator's response to her death, and focusing on…"

"Some Artistic Dimensions of Sherwood Anderson's 'Death in the Woods.'"
Critic: Sister Mary Joselyn .
Source: Studies in Short Fiction,< /I> Vol. IV, No. 3, Spring 1967, pp. 252-59. Reprinted in Short Stories for Students, Vol. 10.

"Although Sherwood Anderson's "Death in the Woods" is widely regarded as the author's masterpiece and has been closely studied by at least two critics, its depths have not yet been plumbed…."

"Critical Essay on 'Hands.'"
Critic: Cynthia Bily.
Source: Short Stories for Students, Vol. 11, The Gale Group, 2001.

"When Sherwood Anderson wrote fiction in the early 1900s, he was consciously experimenting with new short-story forms and with a new kind of written language to fit the new forms…."

"Winesburg, Ohio: The Escape from Isolation."
Critic: Barry D. Bort. Reprinted in Short Stories for Students, Vol. 11.
Source: The Midwest Quarterly, Vol. XI, No. 4, Summer, 1970, pp. 443-56.

"A recurrent theme of the literature of recent times has been the difficulty and even impossibility of communication . . ." Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio is vitally concerned with…"

"Gestures as Meaning in Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio."
Critic: Carol J. Maresca.
Source: CLA Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3, March, 1966, pp. 279-83. Reprinted in Short Stories for Students, Vo l. 11.

"Dialogue, a common vehicle for characterization and theme in fiction, is conspicuously limited in Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. The characters…"

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