William Dean Howells | Critical Essay by Charles L. Crow

This literature criticism consists of approximately 16 pages of analysis & critique of William Dean Howells.
This section contains 4,562 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "Howells and William James: 'A Case of Metaphantasmia'," in American Quarterly, Vol. XXVII, No. 2, May, 1975, pp. 169-77.

In the following essay, Crow praises the stylistic innovation in Howells's stories, in particular the stream-of-conscious narrative employed in "A Case of Metaphantasmia."

Late in his career William Dean Howells conducted a series of fictional experiments exploring and describing the shadowy territory of dreams, subconscious motive, and parapsychological experience. This enterprise stimulated Howells to bold technical innovations, especially in the use of unreliable and multiple narrators. Perhaps The Shadow of a Dream (1890) is the best known of the resulting fictions, which I call "psychic romances." Howells' experiments continued, however, in a series of short stories, most of which he collected in two volumes, Questionable Shapes (1903) and Between the Dark and the Daylight (1907). Though almost totally ignored by critics, and misread and undervalued by most of the...

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This section contains 4,562 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Charles L. Crow
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Charles L. Crow from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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