‘Joyce and the American Short Story in the Age of Roosevelt, 1901-09’

Brian Fox

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Frank O'Connor, in The Lonely Voice, wrote that 'Americans have handled the short story so wonderfully that one can say that it is a national art form’. The idea that the short story is a particularly American art form has a long history, with Irving’s Sketch-Book and Poe’s review of Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales typically regarded as the starting points for the early development and theorisation of a form that many regarded as having been invented - like Joyce, according to Flann O’Brien - in America. A 1904 review in the New York Times of an anthology of American short stories claims that ‘whatever may be said about American literature (even to the point of refusing to acknowledge that it exists), America has at least evolved for herself the typical modern form, the short story’. This paper aims to defend two propositions: one, that Dubliners is contextually engaged with the ‘typical modern form’ of the American short story; two, that that engagement focuses on three distinct areas with specific inflections in the America of Theodore Roosevelt: Progressivism, regionalism, and – crucially for a writer in ‘revolt against the English conventions, literary or otherwise’ - cultural nationalism in the context of decolonisation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014
Event100 Dubliners - Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 31 Oct 20141 Nov 2014


Conference100 Dubliners
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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