In his essay “The Beliefs of Writers”, E. L. Doctorow voices his conviction that “the large examination of society within a story, the imposition in a novel of public matters on private life, the lighting of history within the individual” are, even today, valid literary aims compatible with maintaining aesthetic rigor and vigor (615-616). Adhering to this “poetics of engagement” has been a constant in his career and his work has been artistically innovative and historically conscious. All of his books, very distinctive in terms of style and tone and in revitalizing the conventions of genre, are characterized by an exploration of American history and myth, a probing of evil and individual responsibility, a quest for meaning …
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Farrant Bevilacqua, Winifred. "E. L. Doctorow". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 April 2009
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