Outcasts of Poker Flat Criticism

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When "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" first appeared in the January 1869 issue of the Overland Monthly, the story was an Immediate critical and popular success. Critics such as Emily S. Forman, writing for Old and New, praised Harte's use of "novel vernacular" and "vivid portraiture" to "thrill the very depths of the heart and soul." Harte's critical stature declined in subsequent years as people's tastes in literature changed. Despite this shift in tastes, "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" is continually recognized as one of Harte's best stories and is widely anthologized and read today.

As late as 1936, Arthur Hobson Quinn argued in American Fiction: An Historical and Critical Survey that the tale was "a masterpiece." But within seven years, Harte's reputation was seriously challenged by Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren's seminal text Understanding Fiction, which was published in 1943. In their analysis of Harte's "Tennessee's Partner," Brooks and...

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This section contains 620 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Outcasts of Poker Flat Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Outcasts of Poker Flat from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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