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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Staff Writer | March 9, 1992
When Leslie Fiedler applied to graduate school in 1938, one teacher wrote this "recommendation":"Mr. Fiedler is a very bright student, but he will never be a scholar and a gentleman.""He was absolutely right," Mr. Fiedler says, laughing with glee, as he recalls the story. "I was never a scholar and certainly never will be a gentleman!"But Leslie Fiedler certainly became a famous and provocative literary and cultural critic. Though he's best known for his early work on American literature, Mr. Fiedler -- who holds the Samuel L. Clemens Chair in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo -- was honored yesterday (on his 75th birthday)
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By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | April 24, 2014
It was an angry book. Much of the response was angry, too. Some towns banned it, some towns burned it. Every town talked about it. "The Grapes of Wrath" was published 75 years ago this month, a seminal masterpiece of American literature that seems freshly relevant to this era of wealth disparity, rapacious banks and growing poverty. John Steinbeck introduced readers to the Joads, a poor, proud clan of Depression-era Oklahoma farmers who...
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By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | April 24, 2014
It was an angry book. Much of the response was angry, too. Some towns banned it, some towns burned it. Every town talked about it. "The Grapes of Wrath" was published 75 years ago this month, a seminal masterpiece of American literature that seems freshly relevant to this era of wealth disparity, rapacious banks and growing poverty. John Steinbeck introduced readers to the Joads, a poor, proud clan of Depression-era Oklahoma farmers who...
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By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2012
Some of you have been generous enough to inform me, here or on Facebook or at Twitter, that you do not share my esteem for the writings of Gore Vidal. You perhaps do not care for his politics or his prose style or his morality or his person. Perhaps his patrician hauteur irritates you; I'm sure that he would have wanted it that way. That's as it should be, rather than the bland, stagnant world we would live in if all our tastes agreed. That said, I'm about to quote him, so clear out. Everyone else can stay.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | November 12, 1999
Charles Robert Anderson, a former professor of American literature at the Johns Hopkins University and a noted literary critic, author and scholar, died Nov. 5 of pneumonia at Roper Hospital in Charleston, S.C. He was 97.Mr. Anderson, who lived in Ruxton while teaching at the Homewood campus from 1941 until retiring in 1969, was the first professor hired to teach American literature at the university."By the time Charles got out of graduate school, it was becoming clear that there was enough quality American literature to make it a separate field of study, and he was the first person to teach at Hopkins whose specialty was American literature," said John T. Irwin, a member of the English department at Hopkins who teaches in the university's writing seminar.
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August 1, 1999
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (1830-1886) Born in Amherst, Mass., Dickinson wrote poems that generations of readers have studied. None of her work was published while she lived. After her death, Dickinson's sister, Lavinia, found almost 2,000 poems of hers, most without a title. Paradoxically, almost all of her poems are romantic, yet she never married. Dickinson's poetry has had perhaps the greatest impact of any poet of any time. -- Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature Pub Date: 08/01/99
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By Michael Pakenham | December 28, 2003
The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce. 192 pages. $15.95. Compiling years of lines from columns he wrote for the Hearst newspapers, Bierce -- one of the extraordinary characters of 19th-century American literature -- published the first edition of The Devil's Dictionary in 1906. It covered the letters A through L. By 1911 he completed the alphabet, and subsequent editions have been adored and detested, heaped with praise and damned for cynicism. This newest edition is gloriously illustrated by Ralph Steadman.
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By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | June 12, 2011
The Rev. Walter John Paulits, a long-time Baltimore-area priest and theology scholar, died June 4 from natural causes at an assisted living residence in the Pasadena area. He was 88. In a career that spanned decades as an educator, religious scholar and priest, he founded and served as pastor of Our Lady of the Chesapeake Roman Catholic Church in Pasadena in 1980 and, although he retired in 1991, was still heavily involved with the church until about a year ago. Both his academic pursuits and a practical sense informed his priesthood, according to those who worked with him. He invited experts in seminary, liturgy and ecumenical outreach to visit and share knowledge, while at the same time empowering his flock with a you-can-do-it attitude.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2010
Howard Russell Simpson, a longtime Baltimore broker and bond specialist who was an accomplished hiker and canoeist, died Thursday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Roland Park resident was 83. "His physician said the cause of death was a 'failure to thrive,'" said Mr. Simpson's wife of 31 years, the former Katherine Goodman. Mr. Simpson, the son of a homemaker and a Central Railroad of New Jersey executive who joined the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1931, was born in Elizabeth, N.J., where he also spent his early years.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen | April 10, 2008
Dr. Leonard Isaac Lutwack, an American literary historian who taught at the University of Maryland, College Park for more than three decades, died of heart failure April 1 at Keswick Multi-Care Center. He was 90. Dr. Lutwack was born and raised in Hartford, Conn. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Wesleyan University in 1939 and a master's degree in English from the Middletown, Conn., university in 1940. He served as a medic in the Army Medical Corps in England and Ireland from 1942 until his discharge in 1945.
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By BRIAN GILMORE | February 16, 2006
Novelist Toni Morrison turns 75 on Saturday, and the nation - as well as the world - ought to take note of this American literary giant. Perhaps no other U.S. writer has explored the issues of racism, sexism and class in American society so honestly and so beautifully as this Nobel laureate has. As The New York Review of Books declared years ago, Toni Morrison is "the closest thing the country has to a national writer." Ms. Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio, near Cleveland, in 1931.
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By VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH and VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 11, 2005
Have Jewish Americans influenced American literature more than other groups in the past 50 years? When one considers the literature of post-World War II America, the answer appears unequivocal: Arthur Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, Joseph Heller, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Lillian Hellman, Cynthia Ozick, Susan Sontag, E.L. Doctorow. The works of these writers had phenomenal impact; their keen and often brazen deconstruction of postwar America shattered complacency well beyond the literary canon.
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By Andrea K. Walker and Andrea K. Walker,SUN STAFF | February 24, 2005
Author Walter Mosley's room is dark and mysterious with midnight-blue walls, black velvet drapes and lamps that shine interrogationlike spotlights across the walls. It's a room befitting the popular creator of a series of detective novels. Toni Morrison's room is African-themed, with authentic mud cloth draped across the bed, an Ashanti stool from Ghana and soapstone eggs from Kenya on the night table. It's meant to represent Morrison's regal personality. Welcome to Akwaaba D.C. (pronounced ah-qua-buh, and meaning "welcome" in Ghana)
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By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 1, 2004
Artistic director Dianna Cuatto's first season with Ballet Theatre of Maryland closes this weekend with two performances of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Cuatto caps an exciting season of contemporary, classic and neoclassic choreography with a flesh-and-blood heroine from an American literary classic, far removed from the usual formulaic, Cinderella-like ballet subject. Hawthorne's mid-19th- century novel tells the story of Hester Prynne, perhaps the first feminist heroine.
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