Families and Survivors by Alice Adams

By Alice Adams

“A you-can’t-put-it-down booklet. . . . Alice Adams has chanced on a brand new technique to inform the good American dynasty tales all of us love.” --The Washington Post

Alice Adams’ moment novel is the portrait of a Southern-born girl as she studies her life.

From Louisa Calloway’s Southern girlhood to her debut to her first marriage, for all time surrounded via a definite culture and forever resisting. In lieu of her conservative, bigoted father, she chooses males who're liberal, free-spoken, Jewish. however her first marriage is sad, yet her moment offers to be sounder, as she discovers what she rather wishes, could have, can become—what she particularly is.

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But such interpretations are hard to sustain against a close study of the texts, and the tendency in recent scholarship has been to move away from them, and instead to view the works in a less narrowly partisan way. This is not to suggest that they are apolitical: only that their politics are not best seen as the expressions of personal partisanship that Cicero’s writings might lead one to expect. 2004 4:05am page 35 The Late Republican/Triumviral Period: 90–40 BC 35 But this, once recognized, takes us to a further question: is the literature of the late Republic in fact distinctively political at all?

Sest. 123; cf. Div. 43–5). 2004 4:05am page 24 Sander M. Goldberg the lexical oddities they supplied for ancient grammarians. Their lack of Greek origin denied them the cultural authority of tragedy and comedy. They were also too closely tied to the politics of praise, as some famous testimony of Cato confirms. At the beginning of the Tusculan Disputations, Cicero supports his claim that Romans have equalled the achievements of Greek culture by pointing to the success of Latin poetry, which rivals the Greek despite its late start: Sero igitur a nostris poetae vel cogniti vel recepti.

Literature thus provided a tool for the educated class to define and maintain its social position. How this idea of literature took hold among the Romans and how individual works acquired positions of privilege in an emerging canon are especially important questions for the study of early texts because they became ‘literature’ only in retrospect as readers preserved them, established their value and made them part of an emerging civic identity. The Republican literature we traditionally call ‘early’ is not just a product of the mid-Republic, when poetic texts began to circulate, but also of the late Republic, when those texts were first systematically collected, studied, canonized and put to new social and artistic uses.

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