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Articles, Forewords, Introductions, and Chapters From Books

Updated 10 January 2006

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Allen, Walter. The Short Story in English. New York: Oxford UP, 1981. Offers a brief
  survey (on pages 131-134) of the critical reactions to How to Write Short Stories; credits Lardner with "transmitting what was initially a stock comic device [the use of the slang vernacular] into an instrument of satire, while at the same time . . . contributing to the liberation of American prose from the tyranny of its English heritage" (131).
Bement, Douglas. Weaving the Short Story. New York: Richard R. Smith, Inc., 1931. Uses
  several Lardner short stories to illustrate points about how to use dialogue, characterization, etc.; includes detailed analysis of "The Golden Honeymoon."
Bier, Jesse. The Rise and Fall of American Humor. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston,
Blair, Walter and Hamlin Hill. America's Humor: From Poor Richard to Doonesbury. New
  York: Oxford UP, 1978. Comments on Lardner's place in American humor; draws attention to the increase in lunacy and psychologically deranged characters in his later writings; considers the
most important contribution of Lardner is that he saw and exposed "the gauche hypocrisy that underlay the middle-class ethic, the bloodletting that constituted human relationships."
Bonheim, Helmut. The Narrative Modes: Techniques of the Short Story. Cambridge: D.S. .
  Brewer, 1982. Uses several Lardner short stories to illustrate how best to begin and end short stories
Brooks, Cleanth and Robert P. Warren. The Scope of Fiction. New York:
  Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1960. Advances a moralist interpretation of "Haircut" wherein Jim is a joker who finally gets his due; takes narrator at face value, saying that he really does admire Jim; says purpose of narrator is to create irony, a device used to invoke reader participation.
Bruccoli, Matthew. Introduction. Some Champions. By Ring Lardner. Eds. Matthew Bruccoli
  and Richard Layman. New York: Scribner's 1976. Argues that the decline in Lardner's stature as an artist in the years following his death is undeserved and that it may have resulted primarily from America's uncomfortable feeling about humorists.
---. Ed. Ernest Hemingway's Apprenticeship: Oak Park, 1916-1917. Washington: NCR
  Microcard Edition, 1971.
Caruthers, Clifford M. Foreword. Ring Around Max: The Correspondence of Ring Lardner
  and Max Perkins. By Ring Lardner and Max Perkins. Ed. Clifford Caruthers. Dekalb, IL: Northern Illinois UP, 1973. An interesting account of the relationship between Max Perkins, the Scribners editor, and Lardner.
---. Introduction. Letters From Ring. By Ring Lardner. Ed. Caruthers. Flint MI: Waldon
  Press, 1979. Claims that the letters of Ring are important because they give insight into the feelings and attitudes of Lardner and dispel the opinion of Fadiman and others that Lardner was a misanthrope.
DeMuth, James. Small Town Chicago: The Comic Perspective of Finley Peter Dunne,
  George Ade, Ring Lardner. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1980.
Diot, Rolande. "'Gullible's Dribbles': Du reportage sportif au naturalisme dans les nouvelles de
  Ring Lardner." Seminaires 1980. Eds. Jean Beranger and Jean Cazemajou, Jean. Annales du Centre de Recherches sur l'Amerique Anglophone 6. Talence: Pubs. de la Maisons de Sciences de l'Homme d'Aquitaine Univ. de Bordeaux III, 1981. 119-130.
Duffey, Bernard. "Humor, Chicago Style." The Comic Imagination in American Literature.
  Ed. Louis D. Rubin Jr. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1973. Documents Lardner's influences, influence, and place in the Chicago humor tradition.
Everett, Barbara. "The New Style of Sweeney Agonistes." English Satire and the Satiric
  Tradition. Ed. Claude Rawson. Oxford: Blackwell, 1984. 243-263.
Fenton, Charles A. The Apprenticeship of Ernest Hemingway. New York: Farrar, Straus,
  and Young, 1954: 22-26, 59. Cites Lardner's newspaper columns and stories as one of the influences on Hemingway, contributing to his knowledge of the use of common language.
Ford, Corey. The Time of Laughter. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1967.
  Offers some personal reminiscences about his admiration for and encounter with the silent "and yet curiously appealing" Lardner, as well as some insights about some of the author's favorite Lardner pieces.
Gardiner, Ellen. "'Engendered in Melancholy': Ring Lardner's 'Who Dealt.'" Ring Lardner and
  the Other. Douglas Robinson. New York: Oxford UP, 1992.
Geismar, Maxwell. "Ring Lardner: Like Something was Going to Happen." Writers in Crisis:
  The American Novel Between Two Wars. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, Co., 1942. According to Patrick, it is one of the first extended discussions of Lardner's fiction; holds similar view to Fadiman about Lardner's attitude toward his characters; compares Lardner to Hemingway on pages 74-78.
---. Introduction. The Ring Lardner Reader. By Ring Lardner. Ed. Geismer. New York:
  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1963. A bare-bones biographical and critical introduction to Lardner.
Goldhurst, William. "Ring Lardner." F. Scott Fitzgerald and his Contemporaries. Cleveland:
  The World Publishing Co., 1963. A very skillful and thorough account of the personal and professional relationships between Fitzgerald and Lardner; shows each of their influences on the other's work.
Herbst, Josephine. Introduction. Gullible's Travels, Etc. By Ring Lardner. Chicago: U of
  Chicago P, 1965.
Higgs, Robert J. Laurel and Thorn: The Athlete in American Literature. UP of Kentucky,
  1981. Comments on the savage characters of "Champion" and "My Roomie."
Holmes, Charles S. "Ring Lardner: Reluctant Artist." A Question of Quality: Popularity and
  Value in Modern Creative Writing. Ed. Louis Filler. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1976. A well written and documented study of Ring Lardner as both "popular entertainer and genuine artist;" posits that Lardner excels as both and can best be described as a writer of satiric comedy.
Ingram, Forrest L. "Fun at the Incinerating Plant: Lardner's Wry Waste Land." The Twenties:
  Fiction, Poetry, Drama. Ed. Warren French. Deland, FL: Everett/Edwards, 1975. Says that Lardner's fiction became increasingly dark and grimy, but always evokes the "grimacing smile of self-recognition;" that Lardner essentially satirizes the general "foibles" of being human. The appraisal ends with an invented letter, allegedly found in the effects of Lardner's character Sarah E. Spooldripper, which describes what it's like to be a character in "Champion."
Keough, William. Punchlines: The Violence of American Humor. New York: Paragon
  House, 1990.
Lardner, Ring Jr. Foreword. Some Champions. By Ring Lardner. Ed. Matthew J. Bruccoli
  and Richard Layman. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976. Says he doesn't want his father to be over-collected, that his reputation should be based on his best work.
---. Foreword. Letters From Ring. Ed. Clifford M. Caruthers. Flint MI: Waldon Press, 1979.
  Tells of Ring's habit of throwing everything away, saving none of the letters sent him or many of his short stories.
---. "Ring Lardner's 'Carmen.'" Sherwood Anderson: Centennial Studies. Ed. Hilbert H.
  Campbell and Charles E. Troy, NY: Whitston, 1976. 131-55. Previously unpublished play.
Lewisohn, Ludwig. Expression in America. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1932.
  Describes Lardner as a "neo-naturalist;" sees his "bitter and brutal stories" as belonging "not only to literature but to the history of civilization."
Martin, Edward A. H.L. Mencken and the Debunkers. Athens: The U of Georgia P, 1984.
Masson, Thomas L. "Ring Lardner." Our American Humorists. New York: Moffat, Yard and
  Co., 1922. Views Lardner as an important American humorist.
Mencken, Henry L. The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English
  in the United States. 2nd ed., revised and enlarged. New York: Knopf, 1921. Includes a  discussion of Lardner's rendering of common American speech (274-77); and a sample of his "baseball-American" (404-5).
---. "Lardner." Prejudices, Fifth Series. New York: Knopf, 1926.
  Contends that no "contemporary American, sober or gay, writes better," but that Lardner will not receive the critical attention he deserves until after the character types and circumstances he portrayed are gone.
Messenger, Christian K. Sport and the Spirit of Play in American Fiction: Hawthorne to
  Faulkner. New York: Columbia UP, 1981. Gives a detailed and balanced account of Lardner's personal connection with baseball and his attitude toward the sport as shown in his writing.
Meredith, Scott. "The Quiet Man." George S. Kaufman and his Friends. Garden City, NY:
  Doubleday, 1974. Provides details of the Kaufman-Lardner collaboration, June Moon, and of their continuing relationship; sometimes inaccurate when giving general biographical background of Lardner and goes overboard on support of Fadiman's view.
Morris, Toni J. "Shifting Perspectives and Attitudes: Problems with First Person Point of
  View." Transformations: From Literature to Film. Ed. Douglas Radcliff-Umstead. Kent: Romance Langs Dept., Kent State U, 1987. 25-29. Studies "The Golden Honeymoon."
Munson, Gorham. "The Recapture of the Storyable." University Review Autumn, 1943: 42.
Noverr, Douglas A. "The Small Town and Urban Midwest in Ring Lardner's You Know Me
  Al.  MidAmerica XXV.  Ed. David D. Anderson.  East Lansing, MI:  The Midwestern Press, 1998.  68-77. 
Easily one of the most intelligent readings of You Know Me Al to date.  Positioning himself against earlier critics who described Jack Keefe, the busher hero of the book, in purely negative terms, Noverr uses a combination of relevant textual evidence, knowledge of the social milieu in which the book takes place, and sound logic, to construct a more balanced and sympathetic portrait.   Rather than exclusively concentrating on what Keefe says and does, Noverr takes into account the story's narratee and what he represents into account. Because of his baseball talent, Keefe is thrust into a complex, competitive, and expensive world--for all intents and purposes, a foreign land.  The letters show his longing for his small town home, its people, and the positive values they represent.    
Phelan, James. "Narrative Discourse, Literary Character, and Ideology." Reading Narrative:
  Form, Ethics, Ideology. Ed. James Phelan. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 1989. 132-146. Studies "Haircut."
Pogel, Nancy and Paul P. Somers Jr. "Literary Humor." Humor in America: A Research
  Guide to Genres and Topics. Ed. Lawrence E. Mintz. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988. Places Lardner as a transitional figure in American humor, bringing vernacular humor to a higher than previously achieved level and laying the ground work for later comedy of dementia.
Rourke, Constance. American Humor: A Study of the National Character. New York:
  Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1931. Places Lardner and his use of distinctly American speech within the native tradition of American humor.
Rubin, Louis D, Jr, "The Barber Kept on Shaving." The Comic Imagination in American
  Literature. Ed. Rubin. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1973. Says the flatness of the common language used by Lardner's characters is "employed to a savagely satirical advantage" and exposes the "cultural starvation" of its users.
Seldes, Gilbert. "The Singular--Although Dual--Eminence of Ring Lardner." American
  Criticism. Ed. William A. Drake. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1926. Discusses Lardner's dual standing as popular comic and high-brow satirist.
---. Editor's Introduction. The Portable Ring Lardner. New York: The Viking Press, 1946.
  An excellent general commentary on Lardner.
---. "Mr. Dooley, Meet Mr. Lardner." The 7 Lively Arts. New York: Harper and Brothers,
  1957. Contends that the "stories and fantasies" are "the really memorable things" of Lardner's fiction and that the important feature of Lardner's use of vernacular wasn't how accurately it portrayed the way in which people really spoke, but was the way it showed what they were really thinking.
Sherman, Stuart. "Ring Lardner: Hardboiled Americans." The Main Stream. New York:
  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1927. Laudatory appraisal of the universal appeal and sardonic satire of Lardner, who he describes as a "hard-boiled realist." The only fault he finds with Lardner is his use of comic introductions to his serious stories.
Smith, Leverett T., Jr. The American Dream and the National Game. Bowling Green, Ohio:
  Bowling Green U Popular P., 1975. Chapter on Lardner.
Spatz, Jonas. "Ring Lardner: Not an Escape, but a Reflection." The Twenties: Fiction,
  Poetry, Drama. Ed. Warren French. Deland, FL: Everett/Edwards, 1975. Considers Lardner's fiction as a product of the "age of humor" and a statement of social satire which uncovers the boredom and horror behind the middle-class American dream.
Thurston, Jarvis A. "Ring Lardner's 'Ex Parte.'" Reading Modern Short Stories. Chicago:
  Scott, Foresman, 1955. An analysis of "Ex Parte."
Wheelock, John Hall, ed. Editor to Author: The Letters of Maxwell Perkins. New York:
  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1950. Reprints two letters Perkins wrote Lardner in connection with How to Write Short Stories.
Yates, Norris W. "The Isolated Man of Ring Lardner." The American Humorist: Conscience
  of the Twentieth Century. Ames, IA: Iowa State UP, 1964: 165-193. Describes Lardner's common man types in their roles as aggressors and victims.



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