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Thread: Ranking American Writers in 1929

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    One Too Many Flicka's Avatar
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    Ranking American Writers in 1929

    Found this article and thought maybe some of you would enjoy it:

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/20...lists-in-1929/

    I'm going to be honest and say that I've heard of very few on that list and read even fewer (I'm sadly ignorant about American literature), but I might give some of them a try!
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    Bartender LizzieMaine's Avatar
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    What's really interesting is that of the names on the list, only a couple -- Booth Tarkington and possibly Louis Bromfield-- would have commonly been found in "ordinary" homes of the time, the homes of the sort of Americans that Sinclair Lewis delighted in mocking. If you asked Sally Punchclock in 1929 who her favorite novelist was, you'd very likely get Elinor Glyn or Mary Roberts Rinehart and most of the names on the list would have caused her to ask "Who?" She might, however, know who Fitzgerald was -- "oh yeah, he writes those stories in the Saturday Evening Post."
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    Call Me a Cab Doctor Strange's Avatar
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    Boy, the Hemingway cult is going to be disappointed!

    My own faves out of this group are definitely Willa Cather and Sinclair Lewis. I've read nearly everything by both of them. Two great American voices.

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    I'll Lock Up dhermann1's Avatar
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    Tho I must admit I've never read anything by her, Willa Cather was my mother's favorite author. I have read Edith Wharton (and not just Ethan Frome), and a few others on this list. It's interesting to see Edna Ferber. A lot of people considered her sort of a pot boiler writer, but other critics rank her highly for her story telling ability.
    But there are others who I'm definitely going to have to Google. More proof, as if it were needed, that fame is fleeting.
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    I'll Lock Up Touchofevil's Avatar
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    Interesting comments about Edgar Rice Burroughs. I read pretty much everything he wrote when I was a kid, but then I read pretty much whatever I could get my hands on. Sometimes there is a snootiness about what is worthy and what is not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Strange View Post
    Boy, the Hemingway cult is going to be disappointed!

    My own faves out of this group are definitely Willa Cather and Sinclair Lewis. I've read nearly everything by both of them. Two great American voices.
    I agree and have similar reading experiences.

    I find it curious that Upton Sinclair is not listed here. I imagine this poll took place between popular early books, especially the 1906 "The Jungle", and his very popular "Lanny Budd" series of books in the 40's. Many interesting reads if one is so inclined.

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