A New Fiedler Reader by Leslie Fiedler

By Leslie Fiedler

Leslie Fiedler's radical evaluations and theories have replaced the way in which we predict approximately American literature and dad tradition, demanding normal faculties and ushering in a style of first-person, experience-based feedback. Praised and revered as "one of crucial figures within the historical past of yank cultural suggestion during this century," Fiedler brought groundbreaking rules that now permeate collage reviews in literature: a homoerotic aspect in American machismo, interracial dependence because the classical American bond, these at the social margins being "secret selves," and the continuum of "high" and "low" culture.

Designed to thrill Fiedler's modern viewers and introduce the writer to a complete new iteration of readers, a brand new Fiedler Reader is an enthralling anthology of Fiedler's such a lot infamous and celebrated essays, in addition to a variety of his attractive poems and brief fiction.

A literary icon, Fiedler is between those that instructed legalization of marijuana within the past due '60s; urged that school scholars learn Timothy Leary besides Milton; and was once accused of corrupting the younger with risky leftist rules. amassed are Fiedler's most generally identified articles, from "Come again to the Raft Ag'in, Huck Honey!" to "An virtually Imaginary Interview: Hemingway in Ketchum." Complementing those essays are quite a few lesser recognized poems and brief tales, supplying the reader with the total Fiedler adventure.

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The specter of Fascism looms up, enormous and menacing . " But she does not identify the party beyond labeling it "American"; and the explanatory note attached by the defense committee in the published volume is equally coy. " If one already knows that those otherwise unqualified "men and women" were the leaders of the Communist party, all well and good. If not, it is apparently better to persist in one's ignorance. T h e upshot of the whole business is that the Rosenbergs were quite incapable of saying in their last letters just what it was for which they thought they were dying.

T o believe that two innocents had been falsely condemned for favoring "roses and the laughter of children," one would have to believe the judges and public officials of the United States to be not merely the Fascists the Rosenbergs called 64 J A NEW FIEDLER READER them, b u t monsters, insensate beasts; and perhaps this was partly their point. But one must look deeper, realize that a code is involved, a substitution of equivalents whose true meaning can be read off immediately by the insider.

This position combined invarying proportions two complementary attitudes: the wish that the Rosenbergs might actually be innocent; and the conviction that they were symbolically guiltless whatever action they may have committed. , etc. I n light of all which, isn't it better simply to declare that the Rosenbergs are "innocent," as a kind of shorthand for an analysis too complicated to explain to the uninitiated without re-educating them completely. " This is a fantastic enough position in any event, b u t when held by the accused themselves ( a n d it was held by the Rosenbergs, as I shall s h o w ) , it becomes utterly fantastic, the obverse of those equally absurd "symbolic" declarations of guilt in the rigged Russian trials.

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