Literary Precedents for A Mother and Two Daughters

Gail Godwin
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A Mother and Two Daughters marks a turning point in Godwin's work, not only in popularity, but in themes, techniques, and precedents. Such early novels as The Perfectionists and Glass People, and most of the stories in Dream Children, reflected a world-weary anomie. The characters' spiritual malaise recalled the paralysis of James Joyce's Dubliners (1914) stories, the lovelessness of Eliot's "Waste Land" (1922), and the ennui of Camus's The Stranger (1942). (One critic, Crain in The New York Times, also classified these as part of the more contemporary "Mad Housewife" school of fiction.)

Godwin's next works, The Odd Woman, Violet Clay, and most of the stories in Mr. Bedford and the Muses (1983), were especially concerned with creativity, literature, art, and the problems of creative people trying to bring order to real life. Henry James's Stories of Artists and Writers is the most illustrious precedent for these works.

A Village...

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This section contains 298 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the A Mother and Two Daughters Short Guide
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