American literature doesn't have many Russians, Dostoyevskys into whose ears a mad god dictates, writers who are possessed. Melville is one, and Faulkner is another, and Norman Mailer on occasion is a third, depending on the phase of his moon. Joyce Carol Oates, however, is a Russian, drunk on God and history, hearing voices, speaking tongues, slapdash and parenthetical and repetitious and headlong, as if she had been hurled out of time and memory and patience, as if the future were a killer whale. (pp. 436-37)
A partial list of the nearly insuperable roster of the Kenyon Review’s authors includes Robert Lowell, T.S. Eliot, Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Pynchon, Nadine Gordimer, Randall Jarrell, and Joyce Carol Oates. It, as well as others, including the Hudson Review, the Sewannee Review, Poetry, Daedalus, Partisan Review, and The Journal of the History of Ideas, had hundreds and even thousands of copies purchased for distribution abroad by the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and sometimes received grants more directly. This was significant help for a small magazine; Kenyon Review had to close for a decade beginning in 1969, just a few years after revelations of CIA involvement forced such support to be discontinued. Robie Macauley, who had been recruited by the CIA some years earlier, succeeded Ransom as editor of the Kenyon Review.
That Joyce Carol Oates writes with an unmistakably American voice is a truth more or less universally acknowledged. Though the locations of the six stories in "A Sentimental Education," as in her other fiction, are most often the urban and suburban Middle West and East Coast, she is not a regional writer. Her characters speak with the recognizable monotony of those whose inherited accents have been worn down by an indifferent education, mediocre journalism and exposure through radio and television to plastic English. (p. 7)
Although Joyce Carol Oates has frequently been labeled a non-feminist and criticized for the passivity of her female characters,1 her works actively challenge restrictive gender ideology. A case in point is the Oatesian figure I will define as the transgressive heroine, whose murderous early debut is the short story “Swamps,” the...
An essay or paper on A Critical Analysis of Joyce Carol Oates.
SOURCE: Saalmann, Dieter. “A Deconstructive Approach to the Berlin Wall: Joyce Carol Oates's ‘Berlin Stories’.” In edited by Ernst Schürer, Manfred Keune, and Philip Jenkins, pp. 170-80. New York: Peter Lang, 1996.
July 11, 1982 Stories That Define Me By JOYCE CAROL OATES
Novelist, poet, playwright, and critic, as well as short story writer, Joyce Carol Oates achieved mastery of the short story at an early age. Born in Millersport, New York, on June 16, 1938, educated at Syracuse University (B.A., 1960) and...
There is little question that Joyce Carol Oates is one of America's greatest writers of short fiction, but as Greg Johnson comments in “A Barbarous Eden,” the nature of her contribution to the genre has yet to be fully...
Likely Stories: Soul at the White Heat by Joyce Carol Oates,
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