Reader Guides
Study Guide

Magazine and Journal Articles

Updated 10 January 2006

Organized by author's last name

n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z

Nevins, Allan. "The American Moron." Saturday Review of Literature 8 June 1929:

Compares Lardner's rise from sports writing and humor to serious literature with the similar rise of O. Henry and of Mark Twain.

Overton, Grant. "Ring W. Lardner's Bell Lettres." Bookman Sep. 1925: 44-49.
  A tongue-in-cheek biographical and semi-critical essay on Lardner and his work, written in response to Scribner's 1925 publication of a uniform edition of Lardner's major books, and notable for information derived from an interview with Lardner.   Includes a portrait by Bertrand Zadig.

Overton has a lively and humorous style and seems to enjoy and respect Lardner.  His physical descriptions of Lardner, "the only quiet person in New York" (46), are memorable.  Insights gleened from an interview with Lardner include Lardner's favorable opinion of and help with Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (45), Lardner's love for the baseball "moron" he writes about (46), Lardner's admitted inability to write a novel (46), and Lardner's love of music (47).  Overton gives a brief overview of the books in the edition--You Know Me Al, Gullible's Travels, The Big Town, How to Write Short Stories, and What of It? (48-49) and makes specific comments about "Champion" from How to Write Short Stories (46), the nonsense plays from What of It? (47) (Lardner denies writing them to satirize the Moscow Art Theatre, saying he has written them long before there was such a thing and also noting that "plays are among the very few things he enjoys writing") (47), "The Golden Honeymoon" from How to Write Short Stories (47), and "Some Like Them Cold" from How to Write Short Stories (48-49).  He also gives a brief overview of the major critical response to Lardner (Stallings, Rascoe, Mencken, Broun, and Barrie) which he describes as mostly "apple sauce" (49).     

Payne, Kenneth. "Ring Lardner's 'The Love Nest': Illusion, Reality, and the Movie Mogul."
  International Fiction Review 16.2 (Summer 1989): 103-5.

A short but well documented analysis of "The Love Nest" as a case study "in how the 'abusive' manipulator of discourse effectively succeeds in imposing his own interpretation of reality" in Lardner's fiction.

Pellow, C. Kenneth. "Ring Lardner: Absurdist Ahead of His Time." Aethlon 6.2 (1989):
Phelps, Donald. "Shut Up, He Explained." Shenandoah 29.4 (1978): 84-100.
Pritchett, V.S. "The Talent of Ring Lardner." New Statesman 25 April 1959: 580-81. .
  Posits that talk "is the American contribution to literature" and that Lardner is a master of its use
Pughe, Thomas. "Sense in Nonsense: Ring Lardner's Playlets as Aesthetic Adventures." Revue
  Francaise d'Etudes Americaines 13.37 (July 1988): 195-214.
Robinson, Douglas. "Ring Lardner's Dual Audience and The Capitalist Double Bind."American
  Literary History 4 (Summer 1992): 264-87.

Explains reactions of Lardner's dual audience--the hoi polloi and the intelligentsia--as being different reactions within the same social context of twentieth century capitalist culture; offers a useful tool to examine these reactions--his five-step model of the double-bind that ties society to a certain system.

Salpeter, Harry. "The Boswell of New York." The Bookman LXXXI (July 1930): 384.
  One of many reports that Lardner denied he was a satirist, saying that he just listened closely.
Shyer, Laurence and Ring Lardner, Jr. "American Absurd: Two Nonsense Plays by George S.
  Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, and Ring Lardner." Theater 9.2 (1978): 119-21.

Followed by K & R's "Something New," 122-24, & L's "The Gelska Cup," 126-27, with introduction by Ring Lardner, Jr., 125.

Schwartz, Delmore. "Ring Lardner: Highbrow in Hiding." Reporter 9 Aug. 1956: 52-54.
  Reaction to Elder's biography; says this work "ought to help correct the neglect, one-sided understanding, and misunderstanding of Lardner's work;" that Lardner's fiction offers a
"serious criticism of American life;" that Lardner was a sensitive man "appalled by the unfulfilled promises of life" and not, as Fadiman saw him, a misanthrope.
Smith, Leverett T., Jr. "'The Diameter o Frank Chance's Diamond': Ring Lardner and
  Professional Sports." Journal of Popular Culture Summer, 1972.

A thorough examination of the relationship between Lardner and Baseball; includes many primary and secondary examples.

Stein, Allen F. "This Unsporting Life: The Baseball Fiction of Ring Lardner." Markham
  Review 3.2 (1972): 27-33.
Stuart, Henry Longan. "Mr. Lardner Burlesques America." New York Times Book Review.
  19 April 1925: 1,25.

Review of all of Lardner's reissued books; makes interesting comments on Lardner's nonsense plays.

---. "Three Stories A Year Are Enough For A Writer." New York Times Magazine 25 March
  1917: 14.

Reports an interview with Lardner during which Lardner cites his influences, his appraisal of Twain, and his attitude toward writing; indicates that he was tired of writing first-person dialect stories and he would like to be writing "fiction of an entirely different sort."

Tiverton, Dana. "Ring Lardner Writes a Story." The Writer 45.1 (Jan. 1933): 8-9.
  Presentation, based on an interview with Lardner, of Larder's writing method, highly influenced by his journalistic roots.
Tobin, Richard. "Ring Lardner, the Man With the Perfect Pitch." Chronicle Spring 1978:

Article by Ring's nephew; offers insights into the final days of his life and clearly traces the early influences of Lardner's life in Niles through his career.

Topping, Scott. "Ring Lardner on Cashel Byron's Profession." The Independent Shavian
  32.2-3 (1994): 39-40.

Collection of Ring's thoughts on G. Bernard Shaw as boxing expert.

Van Doren, Carl. "Beyond Grammar: Ring W. Lardner: Philologist among the Low-brows."
  Century CVI (July 1923): 471-75. Rep. in Many Minds. New York: Knopf, 1924. Praises Lardner for his mastery of the vernacular style, but criticizes him for having "no sign of any aesthetic or intellectual concern;" considers Lardner as "essentially a comic philologist."
Weaver, John V. "Ring Lardner--Serious Artist." The Bookman LIV (Feb. 1922): 586-87.
  One of the earliest appraisals of Lardner as a serious artist.
Webb, Howard W. Jr. "The Development of a Style: The Lardner Idiom." American
  Quarterly 12 (Winter 1960): 482-92.

Well documented laudatory appraisal of Lardner, who Webb considers "a literary artist."

---. "Mark Twain and Ring Lardner." Mark Twain Journal 11.2 (1960): 13-15.
--- . "The Meaning of Ring Lardner's Fiction: A Re-evaluation." American Literature 61 (Jan.
  1960): 434-45

In this well documented and formulated essay, Webb argues that "judgments of Ring Lardner and his work have become stereotyped and thus distorted." Instead of viewing Lardner as essentially a comic writer or considering him a misanthrope, Webb proposes that more benefit would come from studying the dominant theme in Lardner's writing, which, he states, is "the problem of communication."

---. "Ring Lardner's Idle Common Man." Bulletin of the Central Mississippi Valley
  American Studies Association 1 (Spring 1958): 6-13.
White, E.B. "Notes & Comment" The New Yorker 10:24 (28 July 1934), 9. Rpt. in Every
  Day Is Saturday. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1934: 240-241.
Wilson, Edmund. "Mr. Lardner's American Characters." Dial July 1924: 69-72. Rep. in A
  Literary Chronicle: 1920-1950. Garden City: An Anchor Book, 1956: 37-40.

Is a good example of those critics who saw great promise in Lardner's fiction after the publication of How to Write Short Stories.

Woolf, Virginia. "American Fiction." Saturday Review 1 August 1925: 1-3. Rep. in The
  Moment and Other Essays. London: Hogarth Press, 1952.

An appraisal of You Know Me Al. Contends that Lardner was producing the best American fiction of the time primarily because he let the characters act without authorial interference; theorizes that games provide "a centre" for Lardner's American characters.

Yardley, Jonathan. "Harmony in Great Neck: The Friendship of Ring Lardner and F. Scott
  Fitzgerald." Saturday Review July 1978: 23-25, 36.
---. "The Man Who Taught Us How We Talk." Civilization October/November 1996: 92-94.



Home • Reader Guides • Study Guide • Works • Life • Features • Family • Store