Gertrude Stein may challenge Jacqueline Susann as the biggest self-promoter of twentieth-century letters. Stein had a habit of proclaiming herself a "genius" and each of her works a "masterpiece." She was perhaps stretching it a bit, but she did become a pivotal figure in Modernism, influencing a
Kurt Vonnegut's curious blend of Science Fiction, black humor, absurdity, and relentless irony may be his way of dealing with an incomprehensible world. His hybridized fiction certainly offers an escapist alternative, one that Vonnegut has elaborated over 30 years of literary production. Faced in rea
Oscar Wilde pursued a life -- an art -- of pure uselessness. This was not because he objected to pragmatic pursuits, if kept in their proper place: "We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it inten
Crowds, conspiracies, consumer society, and futile attempts to thwart despair -- these are the trademark features of the work of Don DeLillo, a prolific American novelist at the edge of contemporary trends.
DeLillo is undoubtedly an ironist, as his characters relentlessly mock their relation to