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The Genius

Theodore Dreiser

Book Overview: 

The "Genius" was actually the third novel Dreiser began work on and, as his most autobiographical work, remained the novel closest to his heart. He worked on it in stages over a four-year period. The credit he felt he deserved (and did not receive) for his honesty about sexual urges and damaged relationships and his original publisher's decision not to stand by the novel in the face of criticism contributed to his lifelong feeling that the book had never been given its due. After An American Tragedy, it is his longest book; the final draft ran to over 700 pages in a close-set type. While the protagonist of the book is in many ways a portrait of its author, Dreiser also loosely based Eugene Witla on some of the painters, artists working in an Ashcan realist style, whom he knew in New York at the time and whose studios he visited.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Let me tell you how nice you are. Want to know how nice you are?"

"Uh-uh," she smiled, shaking her head to mean "no."

"Wait till we get to the mountains. I'll tell you." He sealed her lips with his, holding her until her breath was almost gone.

"Oh," she exclaimed; "you're terrible. You're like steel."

"And you're like a big red rose. Kiss me!"

From Christina he learned all about the musical world and musical personalities. He gained an insight into the different forms of music, operatic, symphonic, instrumental. He learned of the different forms of composition, the terminology, the mystery of the vocal cords, the methods of training. He learned of the jealousies within the profession, and what the best musical authorities thought of such and such composers, or singers. He learned how difficult it was to gain a place in the operatic world, how bitterly singers fought each other, how quick the public was to desert a fading st. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Эта действительно прекрасная книга! не удивительно, что Гений являлся любимым произведением Драйзера... это своего рода автобиографический роман автора, где главным героем является художник, который переживает взлеты и горькие падения...

Роман поразил своим реалистичным, ярким и увлекательным описани

the best book that I have ever read

The best! From now and onwards my favorite novel!!

Absolutely mesmerizing book!

I am astonished by the eloquence and depths of thought and events which occurred within the novel. As far as I know, Theodore Dreiser is not a philosopher, yet this story is exactly a philosophical study of life, man and woman themselves. It is so delicate, so subtle, so

The book is fascinating, especially the first two parts. So many insights about human nature, love, talent... but the last part is rather muddled and confusing. I expected more intriguing and bright ending.

300 pages into this 750 page tome, and I've suddenly decided I've had enough. I loved sister Carrie and an American tragedy, but this book just seemed to repeat itself over and over again. this dude is obsessed with young, pretty women, and repeatedly becomes enraptured with them. the first 300 page

"The Genius" stirs up contradictory feelings. I haven't seen such depth of character's thoughts and such story of self-development in any book. It is an incredible in-depth analysis of the human soul, a very frank one, without jugglings and excuses. It is a digging in the human soul as such in the p

Well, to tell the truth I expected maybe little more than this after reading his Trilogy of Desire 3 years ago...
But let's go step by step.
I do not appreciate the size of this book - 700 and smth. pages - really big one. But as I understand Dreiser tried to put into it not only his bio but many arg

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