Creationists Selected Essays, 1993-2006

ISBN-10: 0812975642
ISBN-13: 9780812975642
Edition: N/A
Authors: E. L. Doctorow
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Description: E. L. Doctorow is acclaimed internationally for such novels as "Ragtime, Billy Bathgate," and "The March," Now here are Doctorow's rich, revelatory essays on the nature of imaginative thought. In "Creationists," Doctorow considers creativity in its  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/11/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

E. L. Doctorow is acclaimed internationally for such novels as "Ragtime, Billy Bathgate," and "The March," Now here are Doctorow's rich, revelatory essays on the nature of imaginative thought. In "Creationists," Doctorow considers creativity in its many forms: from the literary (Melville and Mark Twain) to the comic (Harpo Marx) to the cosmic (Genesis and Einstein). As he wrestles with the subjects that have teased and fired his own imagination, Doctorow affirms the idea that "we know by what we create." Just what is Melville doing in "Moby-Dick"? And how did "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" impel Mark Twain to radically rewrite what we know as "Huckleberry Finn"? Can we ever trust what novelists say about their own work? How could Franz Kafka have written a book called Amerika without ever leaving Europe? In posing such questions, Doctorow grapples with literary creation not as a critic or as a scholar-but as one working writer frankly contemplating the work of another. It's a perspective that affords him both protean grace and profound insight. Among the essays collected here are Doctorow's musings on the very different Spanish Civil War novels of Ernest Hemingway and Andre Malraux; a candid assessment of Edgar Allan Poe as our "greatest bad writer"; a bracing analysis of the story of Genesis in which God figures as the most complex and riveting character. Whether he is considering how Harpo Marx opened our eyes to surrealism, the haunting photos with which the late German writer W. G. Sebald illustrated his texts, or the innovations of such literary icons as Heinrich von Kleist, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Sinclair Lewis, Doctorow is unfailingly generous, shrewd, attentive, surprising, and precise. In examining the creative works of different times and disciplines, Doctorow also reveals the source and nature of his own artistry. Rich in aphorism and anecdote, steeped in history and psychology, informed by a lifetime of reading and writing, "Creationists" opens a magnificent window into one of the great creative minds of our time. "From the Hardcover edition."

Edgar Lawrence (E. L.) Doctorow was born January 6, 1931, in New York, New York. He received an A.B. in philosophy (with honors) in 1952 from Kenyon College and did graduate work at Columbia University 1952-1953. He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1953-1955. He began his career as a script reader at Columbia Pictures and as a senior editor for the New American Library, 1959-1964. He was editor-in-chief for Dial Press from 1964 to 1969, where he also served as vice president and publisher in his last year on staff. It was at this time that he decided to write full time. He has written novels, short stories, essays, and a play. His debut novel, Welcome to Hard Times, was published in 1960 and was adapted into a film in 1967. His other works include, Loon Lake, The Waterworks, The March, and Andrew's Brain. He won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1986 for World's Fair and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1976 for Ragtime, which was adapted into a film in 1981 and a Broadway musical in 1998. Billy Bathgate received the PEN/Faulkner Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the William Dean Howells Medal in 1990. The Book of Daniel and Billy Bathgate were also adapted into films. He received the 2013 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters for his outstanding achievement in fiction writing.

Introduction
Genesis
E. A. Poe
Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom
Composing Moby-Dick: What Might Have Happened
Sam Clemens's Two Boys
Sinclair Lewis's Arrowsmith
Fitzgerald's Crack-Up
Malraux, Hemingway, and the Spanish Civil War
Dos Passos: U.S.A.
Harpo
Heinrich von Kleist
Arthur Miller
Franz Kafka's Amerika
W.G. Sebald
Einstein: Seeing the Unseen
The Bomb
Publication History

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