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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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Editorial Note and Acknowledgments


All of the collected material in this volume is reprinted in the form in which it originally appeared except for the normalization of documentation style and the correction of typographical errors. However, though most of the essays are documented solely by notes, several also have a “Works Cited” section because of the house style of the journals in which these essays initially appeared. With the exception of “Toward Sister Carrie: The Sources and Nature of Dreiser’s Fictional Method,” which had not been previously published, the list which follows cites each essay’s original appearance in the order of the essays as they appear in this book. I wish to thank the various publishers named for permission to republish. “‘True Art Speaks Plainly’: Theodore Dreiser and the Late Nineteenth- Century Debate over Realism and Naturalism,” Nineteenth-Century Prose 23 (Fall (1996): 76–89. Reprinted with permission. “‘The Logic of My Life and Work’: Another Look at Dreiser’s July 20, 1945 Letter to William Z. Foster,” Dreiser Studies 30 (Fall 1999): 24–34. Reprinted with permission by the University of Nebraska Press. PIZER_book.indd 17 09/08/13 4:06 PM xviii editorial note and acknowledgments “Dreiser and the Jews,” Dreiser Studies 35 (Summer 2004): 2–23. Reprinted with permission by the University of Nebraska Press. “American Literary Naturalism: The Example of Dreiser,” Studies in American Fiction 5 (May 1977): 51–63. Reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins Press. “Dreiser and the Naturalistic Drama of Consciousness,” Journal of Narrative Technique 21 (Spring 1991): 202–11. “American...

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