Vandover and the Brute

Vandover and the Brute

by Frank Norris

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Classic novel. According to Wikipedia: "Benjamin Franklin Norris, Jr. (March 5, 1870 – October 25, 1902) was an American novelist, during the Progressive Era, writing predominantly in the naturalist genre. His notable works include McTeague (1899), The Octopus: A California Story (1901), and The Pit (1903). Although he did not openly support socialism as a political system, his work nevertheless evinces a socialist mentality and influenced socialist/progressive writers such as Upton Sinclair. Like many of his contemporaries, he was profoundly influenced by the advent of Darwinism, and Thomas Henry Huxley's philosophical defense of it. Norris was particularly influenced by an optimistic strand of Darwinist philosophy taught by Joseph LeConte, whom Norris studied under while at the University of California, Berkeley. Through many of his novels, notably McTeague, runs a preoccupation with the notion of the civilized man overcoming the inner "brute," his animalistic tendencies. His peculiar, and often confused, brand of Social Darwinism also bears the influence of the early criminologist Cesare Lombroso and the French naturalist Emile Zola."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455356201
Publisher: Seltzer Books
Publication date: 09/16/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 433,431
File size: 590 KB

About the Author

Russ Castronovo is Tom Paine Professor of English and Dorothy Draheim Professor of American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Table of Contents

Frank Norris: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

Vandover and the Brute

Appendix A: Norris, Naturalism, and the Novel

  1. Frank Norris, “Zola as a Romantic Writer” The Wave (27 June 1896)
  2. From Émile Zola, “The Experimental Novel,” The Experimental Novel and Other Essays (1893)
  3. From Frank Norris, “The Responsibilities of the Novelist,” The Responsibilities of the Novelist (1903)
  4. From Frank Norris, “The Novel with a ‘Purpose,’” The Responsibilities of the Novelist (1903)

Appendix B: Gender, Evolution, and Degeneration

  1. Frank Norris, “Western City Types: The ‘Fast’ Girl” The Wave (9 May 1896)
  2. From Joseph Le Conte,  Evolution: Its Nature, Its Evidences, and Its Relation to Religious Thought (1899)
  3. From Max Nordau, from Degeneration (1895)

Appendix C: Visual Contexts

  1. Luis Ricardo Falero, Witches Going to the Their Sabbath (1878)
  2. Philippe-Jacques Van Bree, The Harem Bath
  3. Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Great Bath at Bursa, Turkey (1885)
  4. Jean-Léon Gérôme, Thirst (1888)
  5. Images of Gibson Girls

Select Bibliography and Suggested Further Reading

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