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Theodore Dreiser, an outstanding American novelist is a pioneer of naturalism in American literature. Dreiser wrote novels reflecting his mechanistic view of life, a concept that held humanity as the victim of such ungovernable forces as economics, biology, society, and even chance. Theodore Dreiser
BornTheodore Herman Albert Dreiser August 27, 1871 Terre Haute, Indiana, U.S. DiedDecember 28, 1945 (aged 74) Hollywood, California, U.S.Cause of deathHeart failure OccupationNovelist Spouse(s)Sara Osborne White (m. 1898 –1942; her death) Helen Patges Richardson (m. 1944 –1945; his death) Parent(s)Sarah and John Paul Dreiser Theodore Dreiser’s biography
Dreiser was born in 1871 into a large and poor family. His education was irregular. After working as a journalist on several newspapers, in 1894 he went to New York City, where he began a career in publishing, eventually rising to the presidency of a publishing house.
After proposing in 1893, he married Sara Osborne White on December 28, 1898. They ultimately separated in 1909, partly as a result of Dreiser's infatuation with Thelma Cudlipp, the teenage daughter of a work colleague, but were never formally divorced. In 1919 Dreiser met his cousin Helen Patges Richardson (1894-1955) with whom he began an affair.Through the following decades she remained the constant woman in his life, as other more temporary love affairs (such as his 1930s affair with his secretary, Clara Jaeger) bloomed and perished.] Helen tolerated Dreiser's affairs, and they eventually married on June 13, 1944. Dreiser was going to return from his first European vacation on the Titanic but was talked out of going by an English publisher who recommended he board a cheaper boat. Personal life
Fiction Sister Carrie (1900) Jennie Gerhardt (1911) The Financier (1912) The Titan (1914) The "Genius" (1915) Free and Other Stories (1918) An American Tragedy (1925) Chains: Lesser Novels and Stories (1927) The Bulwark (1946) In his works, conventional morality is unimportant, virtuous behaviour has little to do with material success and happiness. He played an important role in introducing a new realism into American fiction.
His first novel, Sister Carrie (1900) is the story of a country girl's rise to material success first as the mistress of a wealthy man and then as an actress. It horrified its publisher, and he gave it only limited circulation. Dreiser distributed it himself, but it was consistently attacked as immoral Sister Carrie
Jennie Gerhardt (1911), again about a 'fallen woman,' met with a better response; its success allowed Dreiser to work as a writer full time. With these two works, Dreiser started his long battle for the right of the novelist to portray life as he sees it. In Jennie Gerhardt
The Genius (1915) and in The Bulwark (1946), Dreiser explores the failings of an American artist. An American Tragedy (1925), often considered his greatest work, tells of a poor young man's futile effort to achieve social and financial success; the attempt ends in his execution for murder. The Genius
. In The Financier (1912), he turned his attention more specifically to American social and economic institutions. This novel, the first of a trilogy that includes The Titan (1914) and The Stoic (1947), describes the rise to power of a ruthless industrialist. The Financier
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