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Book Title: Vandover and the Brute|
The author of the book: Frank Norris
Edition: Broadview Press Inc
Date of issue: September 4th 2015
ISBN 13: 9781554812394
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1617 times
Reader ratings: 6.1
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.69 MB
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Rejected by nineteenth-century publishers for its sordid and shocking subject matter, Vandover and the Brute is a powerful novel of turn-of-the-century San Francisco.
Written circa 1894-95 but published posthumously in 1914, Frank Norris’s Vandover and the Brute presents an unflinching portrait of unconventional sexuality, moral dissolution, and physical degeneration. In the setting of turn-of-the-century San Francisco depicted in Vandover, disaster encompasses far more than the vivid accounts of shipwreck or earthquake that appear in the novel. The slow wasting away of characters who contract syphilis, the suicide of a young girl, and the murder of a man clinging to a lifeboat fascinate readers today as much as they did a century ago, when this scandalous novel was first published. The most complete wreck is Vandover himself, whose artistic talents and constitution collapse after orgies of drink and sexual abandon.
Russ Castronovo’s new edition gathers historical materials on literary naturalism, gender and criminality, and the visual culture of the late nineteenth century.
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Read information about the authorBenjamin Franklin Norris, Jr. was an American novelist, during the Progressive Era, writing predominantly in the naturalist genre. His notable works include McTeague (1899), The Octopus: A California Story (1901), and The Pit (1903). Although he did not openly support socialism as a political system, his work nevertheless evinces a socialist mentality and influenced socialist/progressive writers such as Upton Sinclair. Like many of his contemporaries, he was profoundly influenced by the advent of Darwinism, and Thomas Henry Huxley's philosophical defense of it. Norris was particularly influenced by an optimistic strand of Darwinist philosophy taught by Joseph LeConte, whom Norris studied under while at the University of California, Berkeley. Through many of his novels, notably McTeague, runs a preoccupation with the notion of the civilized man overcoming the inner "brute," his animalistic tendencies. His peculiar, and often confused, brand of Social Darwinism also bears the influence of the early criminologist Cesare Lombroso and the French naturalist Emile Zola.
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