Upon Howells's arrival, Joseph W. Harper-the reigning head of the "House of Harper"-requested that he write a feuillton for the Weekly which would be a powerful presentation of the life of our great metropolis, social, educational, economical, political-as shown in our schools, colleges, charitable organizations, reformatory institutions, prisons, courts of law, occupations & amusements-the rich & the poor, the idler & the worker, the silly men & bad men & frivolous women-the elevated railroads, the monopolies [and] the nuisances. Through March's experiences and investigations of the city, Howells narrates the hardening authority of monopoly capital and the resistance to this authority by organized labor; the economic emergence of Wall Street and the opposition to its unregulated speculation in the socialisms mobilized and inspired by Henry George's mayoral candidacy; the fragmentation of the city's polyglot population by race and class and the countervailing technological advances in mass transit and mass publishing that made the city thinkable as a whole; and the lonely anonymity of the city's densely populated streets and the "heterogeneous gayety" (308) staged on those same streets.\n Taking up roughly the fi rst hundred pages (or almost onefi fth of the novel) and seemingly extrinsic to the thematic and narrative logic of the rest of Hazard, this long section is usually ignored by critics or fl agged as evidence of the novel's larger structural confusion.
THE SUBLIME TRAIN OF SIGHT IN A HAZARD OF NEW FORTUNES CHRISTOPHER RACZKOWSKI In 1888, William Dean Howells moved with his family from Boston to New York City. In the heady years preceding this relocation, Howells undertook a famously unpopular campaign in support of the Haymarket defendants, resigned from his editorship of the Atlantic Monthly–whose readership had precipitously declined under his guidance–and signed a lucrative contract with Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. His departure from Boston’s Brahmin literary circles for the rough and tumble literary world of New York was initially set in motion by the developing tragedy of his daughter Winnie’s illne
Pages to are hidden for
"THE SUBLIME TRAIN OF SIGHT IN A HAZARD OF NEW FORTUNES"Please download to view full document