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Literary Precedents for Angle of Repose

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Literary Precedents

Angle of Repose is at once part of and outside the traditions of western literature. The novel's self-conscious realism separates it from most western fiction, which romanticizes the setting and peoples it with outsized heroes and villains. Angle of Repose is part of the historical record in which western society was built by miners from Cornwall, ladies from Vermont, and restless men who just wanted a place where they could live free. Some critics suggest that Stegner writes in a literary tradition called "realism" or "American Realism." This was the predecessor of the literary movement called "modernism" that dominated American literature for most of the twentieth century.

Like realism, modernism emphasizes realistic action and dialogue, and both have a tendency to pessimism. However, modernism is also marked by a rejection of the validity of history and traditional values. Stegner's Angle of Repose exhibits a profound respect for history...

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This section contains 467 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Angle of Repose Study Guide
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Angle of Repose from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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