Winesburg, Ohio Essay

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Miller is an assistant professor of Comparative Literature and English at Yale University. In the following essay, he discusses the thematic and formal significance of storytelling in Winesburg, Ohio.

From the time of Its original publication as a complete book in 1919, Winesburg, Ohio has posed readers, reviewers, and critics with a puzzle: is it a short story collection or a novel? Already in 1916, Anderson had published sections of it as stories in the "little magazines" of the Chicago Renaissance and modernist literary movements: in Floyd Dell's The Masses, Margaret Anderson's Little Review, and Waldo Frank's Seven Arts. By their author's own admission, then, the individual chapters appeared to stand on their own, and early readers generally followed this lead, seeing in Winesburg a short story collection. Only later, after greater critical scrutiny and further experimentation in prose by innovators such as James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams...

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This section contains 2,303 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Winesburg, Ohio Study Guide
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