Thomas Berger: The Feud (524 words)

Martin Kich (Wright State University )
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This novel is set in several adjacent small towns in the American Midwest in the 1930s. The location and the time period both suggest that Berger is on some level— perhaps many levels —extending the treatments of middle-American life that defined the work of Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis.

The title refers to a conflict that develops between two families, the Beelers and the Bullards. Like most feuds of legend, this one begins over a relatively minor personal slight and quickly escalates. In fact, the consequences of the original incident very quickly seem ridiculously disproportionate to the significance of that incident. One Saturday morning, a mill foreman named Dolf Beeler goes to Bud Bullard’s hardware store t…

Kich, Martin. "The Feud". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 August 2004
[, accessed 23 February 2019.]

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