Sherwood Anderson

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Sherwood Anderson, portrayed by Carl van Vechten on November 29, 1933

Sherwood Anderson (born September 13, 1876 in Camden , Ohio , † March 8, 1941 in Colón , Panama ) was an important American narrator .

life and work

Childhood, youth and professional beginnings

Sherwood Anderson was born in 1876, the third of seven children to Irwin and Emma Smith Anderson, in Camden, a village in southwest Ohio. The family moved several times during Anderson's childhood due to the professional change of his father, a crockery maker. From 1883 they lived in Clyde near Lake Erie . The place later became a model for the fictional town of Winesburg, Ohio . Sherwood attended school only irregularly, as he had to contribute to the livelihood of his family through various activities, including as a newsboy. In 1895, at the age of 42, his mother, Emma Smith Anderson, died of consumption .

In 1896, Sherwood Anderson went to Chicago and worked in a variety of professions, such as a department store administrator, but had little prospects as an unskilled worker. In 1898 he took part in the Spanish-American War as a soldier , but did not arrive with his unit until after the Spanish surrender in Cuba and was not used in combat himself. In 1899 he got his high school degree in Springfield . The following year, Anderson returned to Chicago and became an ad seller and copywriter. In 1904 he married Cornelia Lane from Toledo , with whom he fathered three children. Anderson changed job and place of residence several times and was head of a mail order company in Cleveland and from 1907 head of a trading company for paints and varnishes in Elyria . At this time he made his first independent attempts at writing. In November 1912, he suffered a nervous breakdown and collapsed.

The Chicago years. 1913-1921

Professionally and family failed, with poor health, Anderson moved again to Chicago in 1913 to pursue literary activities. He came into contact with a group of writers known as the Chicago Literary Renaissance . They included Harriet Monroe , Edgar Lee Masters , Theodore Dreiser , Carl Sandburg , Vachel Lindsay , Eunice Tietjens, Floyd Dell , Ben Hecht , Burton Rascoe and Lewis Galantière . The organ of the "Chicago Literary Renaissance" was the literary magazine "The little review", which Margaret Anderson (unrelated) published and for which Theodore Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson and Carl Sandburg contributed.

Its first publication followed in 1915. In the socio-political journal The Masses he published the first two sections of a 1919 story The book of the grotesque ; further stories of the later Winesburg cycle appeared in The little Review and in The Seven Arts . In 1916 he divorced his wife and married Tennessee Mitchell. His first novel Windy McPherson's son was published with the help of Theodore Dreiser and Floyd Bell, and in 1917 his second novel Marching Men . In 1918 his first volume of poetry, Mid-American chants , was published. However, all three books met with little response from the reading public. In 1919 he published Winesburg, Ohio , a volume of short stories about American small-town life, the origin of which dates back to 1913 and which established his fame and success. In 1920 his novel Poor white appeared , in which Andersson did not succeed, however, in connecting with the newly acquired naturalistic aesthetics of Winesburg, Ohio . In 1921 short stories and poems appeared under the title The Triumph of the Egg , for which he won the Dial Award in 1921 , which brought in prize money of 2000 dollars. With this money he financed his subsequent trip to Europe. It was at this time that he first met the then unknown 22-year-old journalist Ernest Hemingway .

Paris, New Orleans, Marion. 1921-1941

In 1921, Anderson went to Paris, where he met other emigrated writers such as Ford Madox Ford , Gertrude Stein and James Joyce . In 1924 Anderson separated from Tennessee Mitchell and married Elizabeth Norma Prall for the third time, who was to publish her memoirs after Sherwood Anderson's death in 1969. On a visit to New Orleans he met William Faulkner , whom he advised to write about those things with which he was familiar. Following the example of Anderson and his Winesburg cycle, Faulkner created Yoknapatawpha County as a fictional image of his own homeland in the state of Mississippi (state) . Anderson was very committed to Faulkner and made it possible for him to publish his first novel Soldier's Pay . Faulkner's third novel, Sartoris , is dedicated to Anderson.

In 1925, Anderson brought out the novel Dark Laughter , which became his only major sales success. He used the proceeds to buy a small farm near Marion , Virginia . He called his house Ripshin and he published several works in the following years, including the autobiographical novel Tar. A midwest childhood . In 1932 he divorced his third wife. He dedicated his book Beyond Desire to the workers' unrest in the cotton mills of the south, which rose in the 1940s. In the following year he married Eleanor Gladys Copenhaver for the fourth time and published the short story collection Death in the woods , the penultimate book published during his lifetime.

In 1937 he was accepted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters . In 1941 he died of acute peritonitis while on a boat trip to South America.


  • Windy McPherson's son . [Novel] John Lane, publisher. New York (New York) 1916.
  • Mid-American chants . [Poems] John Lane, publisher. New York 1918.
  • Winesburg, Ohio. A group of tales of Ohio small town life . Benjamin W. Huebsch, publisher. New York 1919. - German: Winesburg, Ohio. A novel about a small town. Translated by Hans Erich Nossack , Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt a. M. 1958, new edition with an introduction by John Updike et al. an afterword by Jürgen Dierking , Suhrkamp 2000; Winesburg, Ohio. A series of tales from small town life in Ohio . Translated by Eike Schönfeld , with an afterword by Daniel Kehlmann , Manesse, Zurich 2012; Winesburg, Ohio. A series of tales of small town life in Ohio . Translated u. with an essay by Mirko Bonné , Schöffling, Frankfurt a. M. 2012.
  • Poor white . A novel. Benjamin W. Huebsch, publisher. New York 1920. - German: The poor white man. Novel. Translated by Karl Lerbs , Insel, Leipzig 1925, new edition 1987.
  • I Want to Know Why (dt. I want to know why in the revised translation in 1978 by Karl Lerbs and Helene Henze). First published in 1919 in The Smart Set magazine. Published in 1921 in the anthology The triumph of the egg .
  • The triumph of the egg . A book of impressions from American life in tales and poems, by Sherwood Anderson, in clay by Tennessee Mitchell, photographs by Eugene Hutchinson. [Stories a. Poems] Benjamin W. Huebsch, Publisher. New York 1921. - German: The Egg Triumphs. Novellas. Translated by Karl Lerbs, Insel, Leipzig 1926; The triumphant egg . Ed. U. translated by Jürgen Dierking, Achilla-Presse, Hamburg 1997.
  • Many marriages . Benjamin W. Huebsch, publisher. New York 1923. - German: Many marriages. Translated by Rainer G. Schmidt, Achilla-Presse, Butjadingen 2011.
  • Horses and men. Tales, long and short, form our American life. Benjamin W. Huebsch, publisher. New York 1923. - German: Horses and Men. Ed. U. translated by Jürgen Dierking, Achilla-Presse, Hamburg 1996.
  • A story teller's story . The tale of an American writer's journey through his own imaginative world and through the world of facts, with many of his experiences and impressions among other writers, told in many notes, in four books, and an epilogue. Benjamin W. Huebsch, publisher. New York 1924. - German: The narrator tells his life. Translated by Karl Lerbs, Insel, Leipzig 1927. A storyteller's story . Translated by Karl Lerbs, rev. by Helene Henze, Walter, Olten 1963.
  • The modern writer . [Essay] Gelber & Lilienthal, Publishers. San Francisco 1925.
  • Dark laughter . [Novel] Boni & Liveright, Publishers. New York 1925. - German: Dark Laughter. Translated by Helene Henze, Walter, Olten 1963; New edition Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt a. M. 1966, Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 1987.
  • Sherwood Anderson's notebook . Containing articles written during the author's life as a story teller, and notes of his impressions from life scattered through the book. [Fictional Autobiography] Boni & Liveright, Publishers. New York 1926.
  • Tar. A midwest childhood. [Autobiographical novel essay] Boni & Liveright, Publishers. New York 1926.
  • A new testament . [Prose Poems] Boni & Liveright, Publishers. New York 1927.
  • Hello towns! [Newspaper article] Horace Liveright, publisher. New York 1929.
  • Sherwood Anderson: Nearer the grass roots. And, by the same author, an account of a journey, Elizabethton. [Essay u. Travelogue] Westgate Press. San Francisco 1929.
  • Alice, and the lost novel. [Stories] E. Mathews & Marrot, Publishers. London 1929.
  • The American country fair. [Essay] Random House Press. New York 1930.
  • Perhaps women . [Essays] Horace Liveright, publisher. New York 1931.
  • Beyond desire. [Novel] Horace Liveright, publisher. New York 1932.
  • Death in the woods and other stories . [Stories] Shoreline Books. New York 1933.
  • No swank . [Biographical Essays] Centaur Press. Philadelphia 1934.
  • Puzzled America. Sketches of contemporary American life. [Newspaper article] Charles Scribner's sons, Publishers. New York 1935.
  • Kit Brandon. A portrait . [Novel] Charles Scribner's sons, Publishers. New York 1936.
  • Plays. Winesburg and others . [Plays] Charles Scribner's sons, Publishers. New York 1937.
  • A writer's conception of realism. An address delivered on January 20, 1939 at Olivet College. [Essay] Olivet College Press. Olivet (Michigan) 1939.
  • Home town. Photographs by farm security photographers. [Volume of photographs] Alliance Book Corporation. New York 1940. - German: Small town in America. Translated by Maria v. Schweinitz, Langewiesche-Brandt, Ebenhausen b. Mnchn. 1956.
  • Sherwood Anderson's memoirs. [Recollections] Harcourt, Brace & Co., Publishers. New York 1942.
Work editions
  • Works . 4 vol .: Dunkles Lachen (t .: Helene Henze), Der arme Weisse (t .: Karl Lerbs, rev.Helene Henze), A storyteller's story (t .: Karl Lerbs, rev.Helene Henze), Winesburg, Ohio ( O .: Hans Erich Nossack), Walter, Olten 1963.
  • The complete works . 21 vol. Ed. V. Kichinosuke Ohashi. Kyōto (Japan) 1982. [Uncritical reprint edition]
Critical Editions
  • Winesburg, Ohio. Authoritative text, backgrounds and contexts, criticism. Edited by Charles Ernest Modlin et al. Ray Lewis White. A Norton critical edition. o. vol. New York (New York) 1996.
New translations into German


  • Cleveland Bruce Chase: Sherwood Anderson. Modern American writers. Vol. 7. New York (New York) 1927. 84 pp.
  • Maxwell David Geismar: The last of the provincials. The American novel. 1915-1925. Henry Louis Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Francis Scott Fitzgerald. London (England) 1947.
  • Sherwood Anderson reader. Ed. U. with an opening vers. v. Paul Rosenfeld. Boston, Massachusetts 1947.
  • Arthur Marshall Sanderson: Sherwood Anderson's philosophy of life as shown by the action in his novels. Missoula (Montana) 1948. XII, 196 pp. [Mag.-Diss. Univ. Montana 1948]
  • Irving Howe: Sherwood Anderson. London (England) 1951.
  • James Schevill: Sherwood Anderson. His life and work. Denver (Colorado) 1951.
  • Blanche H. Gelfant: The American city novel. Theodore Dreiser, Thomas Wolfe, Sherwood Anderson, Edith Wharton, John Dos Passos, James Thomas Farrell, Nelson Algren, Betty Smith, Leonard Bishop, Willard Mothley, and others. Norman (Oklahoma) 1954.
  • Sherwood Anderson. A bibliography. Edited by Eugene Paul Sheehy et al. Kenneth A. Lohf. Los Gatos (California) 1960.
  • Sherwood Anderson. Edited by Roger Asselineau. Configuration critique. Vol. 6. Paris (France) 1961.
  • Rex Burbank: Sherwood Anderson. Twayne's United States authors series. Vol. 65. New York (New York) 1964.
  • Brom Weber: Sherwood Anderson. University of Minnesota pamphlets on American writers. Vol. 43 Minneapolis (Minnesota) 1964.
  • The achievement of Sherwood Anderson. Essays in criticism. Edited by Ray Lewis White. Raleigh (North Carolina) 1966.
  • Sherwood Anderson. An introduction and interpretation. Edited by David Daniel Anderson. American authors and critic series. o. vol. New York (New York) 1967.
  • Elizabeth Anderson et al. Gerald R. Kelly: Miss Elizabeth. A memoir. An intimate account of life with Sherwood Anderson. Boston, Massachusetts 1969.
  • Ray Lewis White: The Merrill studies in Winesburg, Ohio . Columbus (Ohio) 1971. X, 114 pp.
  • William A. Sutton: The road to Winesburg. A mosaic of the imaginative life of Sherwood Anderson. Metuchen (New Jersey) 1972.
  • Sherwood Anderson. A collection of critical essays. Twentieth century views. o. vol. ed. v. Walter B. Rideout . Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 1974.
  • Sherwood Anderson. Dimensions of his literary art. A collection of critical essays. Edited by David D. Anderson. East Lansing (Michigan) 1976. XVI, 142 pp.
  • Sherwood Anderson. Centennial studies. Edited by Hilbert Haynes Campbell et al. Charles E. Modlin. Troy (Michigan) 1976.
  • Alfons Klein: Character conception and narrative form in the short stories of Sherwood Anderson . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1978. (= Palaestra 271).
  • Frederick Krotz: Interpretations of American Prose of Our Time. Anderson, Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck. Treatises on art, music and literature. Vol. 238. Bonn 1979.
  • Walter Göbel: Sherwood Anderson. Aestheticism as a philosophy of culture. Britannica et Americana. Third episode. Vol. 3. Heidelberg 1982. 170 pp. [Diss. Univ. Marburg 1981]
  • Sherwood Anderson. Narrator of the American dream. Edited by Jürgen Dierking. Gulliver. German-English yearbooks. Vol. 28 Hamburg 1990.
  • Poet and Model or On the Craft of the Writer. Concepts and figures of modernity. Edited by Johann P. Tammen. The hearing. Journal for literature, art and criticism. Vol. 190. Bremerhaven 1998.
  • Duane Simolke: Stein, gender, isolation, and industrialism. New readings of Winesburg, Ohio . Written 1992-1996. New York (New York) 1999.
  • Robert Dunne: A new book of the grotesques. Contemporary approaches to Sherwood Anderson's early fiction. Kent (Ohio) 2005.
  • Claire Bruyère: Sherwood Anderson. Le grotesque tendre. Voix américains. o. vol. Paris (France) 2001.
  • Sherwood Anderson. Ed. U. with an opening vers. v. Harold Bloom. Bloom's major short story w.
  • Joriters. o. Vol. Broomall (Pennsylvania) 2002. Shn Earl Bassett: Sherwood Anderson. An American career. Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania 2006.
  • Mark Whalan: Race, manhood, and modernism in America. The short story cycles of Sherwood Anderson and Jean Toomer. Knoxville, Tennessee 2007.
  • Clarence B. Lindsay: Such a rare thing. The art of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio . Kent (Ohio) 2009.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Members: Sherwood Anderson. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed February 13, 2019 .