professor at State University of New York, Buffalo, whose lively and often very witty literary criticism appears in his works of “literary anthropology,” Love and Death in the American Novel (1960); Waiting for the End (1964), on 20th-century American literature and culture; The Return of the Vanishing American (1968), on the Western as genre; The Stranger in Shakespeare (1972); and Collected Essays (1971), often pursuing archetypal myths and making psychic explorations. What Was Literature? (1982) suggests that the popular products of mass society, literary and other, are more important than the high art of sophisticated culture. He has written stories, The Last Jew in America (1966) and Nude Croquet (1969), and a novel, The Messengers Will Come No More (1974). Being Busted (1969) deals with his arrest for possession of marijuana, and Freaks (1978) surveys myths about and social responses to physical abnormality.
Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).