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A Voice Still HeardSelected Essays of Irving Howe$
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Irving Howe and Nina Howe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300203660

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300203660.001.0001

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The City in Literature {1971}

The City in Literature {1971}

(p.161) The City in Literature {1971}
A Voice Still Heard

Irving Howe

Yale University Press

This chapter presents Irving Howe's 1971 essay “The City in Literature,” in which he talks about how the city is portrayed as a major locale in literature. Howe first looks at pastoral poetry as a genre before turning to Western tradition that views the city as both an inimical and a threatening place. He traces our modern disgust with the city to the eighteenth-century novels and looks at Romantic literature's assault upon the city. He also examines what literature may tell about the city and vice versa, together with the so-called the myth of the modern city. Howe concludes by describing two significant visions of urban life in modern literature: the first is benign, while the second proceeds in a cultural line from Charles Baudelaire through T. S. Eliot and then through Eliot's many followers.

Keywords:   city, Irving Howe, literature, pastoral poetry, novels, Romantic literature, urban life, Charles Baudelaire, T. S. Eliot, The City in Literature

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