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The Writers Forum at SUNY Brockport

James T. Farrell -- Fiction

Host(s): Philip L. Gerber and Jack C. Wolf

Tape order number: C-419

Visit Date: October 8, 1975

Length: 44 minutes

Published as:

  • "A Conversation with James T. Farrell." Ed. Philip L. Gerber. Partisan Review 50.2 (1983). 266-78.

Brief Summary: Farrell talks about the cultural influence of the Midwest on American life in the decades after the Civil War, and about the subsequent decline of the Midwest's significance as a consumerist culture developed after 1920. He discusses the social and moral problems that he associates with that consumerist culture. Farrell says that the present has both possibilities and dangers, and the role of the writer is to identify the possibilities and to move forward from where we are.

Work(s) Read:

  • Selection from the novel, The Silence of History

Writers mentioned:

  • C. Sandburg
  • T. Drieser
  • J. Dewey
  • Edgar Lee Masters
  • J. Adams
  • H. L. Menken
  • M. Austin
  • E. Hemingway
  • W. Faulkner
  • F. S. Fitzgerald
  • S Butler
  • J. Conrad
  • Turgenev
  • H. Balzac
  • H. Ibsen
  • A. Strindberg
  • S. Lewis
  • H. Kemp
  • H. G. Wells
  • J. Joyce
  • G. Moore
  • V. McNamara
  • W. B. Yeats
  • A. Chekhov
  • F. Dostoyevsky
  • T. Hardy
  • G. Wallace
  • T. Mann
  • R. Frost
  • T. Veblen
  • A. Schlessinger
  • A. Solzhenitsyn
  • R. Lardner
  • H. James
  • M. Gorky

One of the things which a writer does, he rescues many of the obscure from total oblivion; he leaves a memory of their humanity.

-- James T. Farrell

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