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Grant number like: FB-50087-04

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Keith Newlin
University of North Carolina, Wilmington (Wilmington, NC 28403-3201)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2004 – 6/30/2005

Hamlin Garland: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Lion

I seek funding to support a new biography of Hamlin Garland that will explore his contributions to American literary culture as well as to literature. Garland's life is a story of ironic contradictions: the radical whose early achievement thrust him to the forefront of literary innovation but whose evolutionary aesthetic principles could not themselves adapt to changing conditions; the self-styled "veritist" whose credo demanded that every "individual impression [be] corrected by reference to fact," yet he spent a lifetime seeking to verify the existence of spirits. Obsessed his whole life with attaining fame, renown, respect, and the admiration of others, he lost it all in his final years. Garland emerges as an extraordinarily ambitious man who through sheer determination and strength of will skyrocketed into international fame before he was 40. My biography combines the story of Garland's life with the story of an emerging professional literary culture. Garland's significance for readers today in part lies in his efforts to establish that culture even as he was mounting a rearguard action to inhibit the ascendancy of modernism.