Books: The Reticent Realist

HOWELLS: A CENTURY OF CRITICISM (247 pp.)—Edited by Kenneth E. Eble—Southern Methodist University Press ($4.50).

Not long after the Civil War, two intolerable improprieties came to the notice of U.S. Victorians. One was a minor mountain in north-central Vermont, which a less delicate age had named Camel's Rump. The other was a literary movement, which called itself realism, whose adherents proclaimed their intent to describe the world as it really was. The prudes dealt easily enough with the mountain; it became, and still remains. Camel's Hump. They had more trouble with the literary...

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