The Swimmer | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 3 pages of analysis & critique of The Swimmer.
This section contains 708 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Michael D. Byrne

SOURCE: Byrne, Michael D. “The River of Names in ‘The Swimmer.’” Studies in Short Fiction 23, no. 3 (summer 1986): 326-27.

In the following essay, Byrne analyzes Cheever's utilization of a list of names as a narrative device in “The Swimmer,” claiming that the list functions as a symbol “for Neddy's dilemma, writ small.”

Like modern writers as diverse as Joyce, Fitzgerald, and Barthelme, John Cheever found an artistic delight in lists, specifically a list of names: “It's perfectly beautiful. You can use an invitation list as a lyrical poem. A sort of evocation. I believe I've used it once or twice.”1 One of Cheever's most anthologized stories, “The Swimmer,” includes a list of names representing ports of call on Neddy Merrill's Sunday odyssey: “The only maps and charts he had to go by were remembered or imaginary but these were clear enough. First there were the Grahams, the Hammers, the...

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This section contains 708 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Michael D. Byrne
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Critical Essay by Michael D. Byrne from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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