The Critical response to John Cheever


The Critical response to John Cheever

edited by Francis J. Bosha

(Critical responses in arts and letters, no. 6)

Greenwood Press, 1994

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Includes bibliographical references (p. [289]-296) and index



Bosha collects major, representative criticism of John Cheever's fiction, and his posthumously published Letters and Journals, from the earliest reviews of 1943, through to the present. The volume provides a clear and comprehensive assessment of Cheever's critical reputation both during his lifetime, as each of his books was published and reviewed, and retrospectively, by academics and literary historians who have sought to place Cheever's work in a larger literary context. In addition to several new essays written specifically for this volume, this book publishes, for the first time, a long interview which John Cheever gave less than a year before his death. This interview, according to Prof. Robert G. Collins, who conducted it, is almost certainly the last to be publicly heard. The book begins with a critical introductory essay that traces the dominant themes and patterns in Cheever criticism and comments on the critical reception of his work over the last five decades. A chronology highlights the chief events in Cheever's life and career. The chapters that follow are arranged chronologically, with each chapter devoted to one of Cheever's works. Within each chapter are selections of criticism. The book concludes with a bibliography and index.


Series Foreword by Cameron Northouse Preface Introduction Chronology The Writings of John Cheever Documentary Section The Way Some People Live (1943) with Selected Reviews John Cheever's Sense of Drama by Struthers Burt New Fiction from the Atlantic to the Pacific by Rose Feld John Cheever's Stories by Weldon Kees Fiction in Review by Diana Trilling The Enormous Radio and Other Stories (1953) with Selected Reviews Snapshots in the East Fifties by Taliaferro Boatwright In Genteel Traditions by Arthur Mizener Esthetics of the Story by William Peden Later Criticism Cheever's Use of Mythology in "The Enormous Radio" by Burton Kendle "Young Goodman Brown" and "The Enormous Radio" by Henrietta Ten Harmsel The Wapshot Chronicle (1957) with Selected Reviews Yankee Gallimaufry by Carlos Baker Out of an Abundant Love of Created Things by William Esty End of the Line by Maxwell Geismar John Cheever's Photograph Album by Donald Malcolm Four Views of Love: New Fiction by David L. Stevenson The Housebreaker of Shady Hill and Other Stories (1958) and Selected Reviews Dante of Suburbia by Richard Gilman Cheever and Others by Granville Hicks Realities and Fictions by Irving Howe A Pluralistic Place by Martin Tucker Some People, Places, and Things That Will Not Appear in My Next Novel (1961) with Selected Reviews Mr. Cheever's Sleights-of-Mood Performed with Consummate Skill by Gene Baro A Celebration of Life by Joan Didion Cheever's Inferno by Frank J. Warnke The Wapshot Scandal (1964) with Selected Reviews Sugary Days in Saint Botolphs by Hilary Corke The Way We Feel Now by Benjamin DeMott From Christmas to Christmas--A Ramble with the Wapshots by George Greene The Family Way by Elizabeth Hardwick Cheever's Yankee Heritage by Cynthia Ozick Later Criticism Tradition and Desecration: The Wapshot Novels of John Cheever by Kenneth C. Mason The Brigadier and the Golf Widow (1964) with Selected Reviews Where Life is But a Dream-world by John W. Aldridge Domestic Manners by Frederick C. Crews Change Is Always for the Worse by David Segal Later Criticism John Cheever's Surreal Vision and the Bridge of Language by Wayne Stengel Bullet Park (1969) with Selected Reviews You Wouldn't Believe It by Anatole Broyard A Grand Gatherum of Some Late 20th-century American Weirdos by Benjamin DeMott America's Nomads by Louis Grant Salvation in the Suburbs by Charles Nicol Cheever's People: The Retreat from Chaos by Joyce Carol Oates Later Criticism Witchcraft in Bullet Park by John Gardner The Resurrection of Bullet Park: John Cheever's Curative Spell by Samuel Coale The World of Apples (1973) with Selected Reviews Victories of Happy Madness by Charles Bazerman Cheever to Roth to Malamud by John Leonard The World of Apples by D. Keith Mano Review: The World of Apples by Robert Phillips Fiction Chronicle by William Peden Falconer (1977) with Selected Reviews Escape Within Walls by Hope Hale Davis Falconer by Joan Didion Cheers for Cheever by Janet Groth An Airy Insubstantial World by Joyce Carol Oates Up the River by Robert Towers Two Good Fictions by Geoffrey Wolff Later Criticism The Moral Structure of Cheever's Falconer by Glen M. Johnson The Stories of John Cheever (1978) with Selected Reviews Literary Waifs by Pearl K. Bell The Cheerless World of John Cheever by Isa Kapp The World of WASP by Perry Meisel Light Touch by Robert Towers Oh What a Paradise It Seems (1982) with Selected Reviews Chance-Taker by Robert M. Adams Lonely Nomads by Ann Hulbert Seeking Paradise by George Hunt Later Criticism The Optimistic Imagination: John Cheever's Oh What a Paradise It Seems by Michael Byrne The Letters of John Cheever (1988) with Selected Reviews Grossness and Aspiration by Ann Hulbert Our Lives Are Not Well-Told Stories by Robert Kiely The Journals of John Cheever (1991) with Selected Reviews The Cheever Chronicle by Ted Solotaroff Cheever on the Rocks by John Updike Later Criticism Tales from the Crypt(o-autobiography): A User's Guide to John Cheever's Journals by Robert A. Morace Further Considerations with Criticism

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