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"The Game as It Is Played"

Essays on Theodore Dreiser


Donald Pizer

The Game as It Is Played comprises the best of Donald Pizer’s essays on Theodore Dreiser. Pizer, one of Dreiser’s principal critics over the past forty years, is especially concerned in establishing the distinctive nature and quality of Dreiser’s naturalism in many of these essays. From one of Dreiser’s earliest short stories to his acknowledged masterpiece, An American Tragedy, Pizer demonstrates that in Dreiser’s hands naturalism is not the blunt instrument it is usually assumed to be but rather a powerful tool for the rendering of a complex view of the human condition. In addition, the essays explore several of the more controversial areas of Dreiser scholarship, including his late conversion to communism, his anti-Semitism, and the text of Sister Carrie.


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) ISBN 978-1-4539-1173-0 (e-book) ISSN 1078-0521 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council of Library Resources. © 2013 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited. Printed in Germany For Richard Lehan PIZER_book.indd 5 09/08/13 4:06 PM PIZER_book.indd 6 09/08/13 4:06 PM “What are you trying to show in what you write? Do you point out a moral,” I inquired. “I simply want to tell about life as it is. Every human life is intensely interesting. If the human being has ideals, the struggle and the attempt to realize these ideals, the going back on his own trail, the failure, the success, the reason for individual failure, the individual success—all these things are interesting, interesting even when there are no ideals, when there is only the personal desire to survive, the fight to win, the stretching out of the fingers to grasp—these are the things I want to write about—life as it is, the facts as they exist, the game as it is played!” Otin Notman, “Talks with Four Novelists: Mr. Dresier,...

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