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About Floyd Dell

Floyd Dell, 1917

Floyd Dell (1887 –1969) was was one of the central figures of the Chicago literary renaissance and Greenwich Village bohemianism of the early twentieth century. He was a pivotal American writer whose advocacy of feminism, socialism, psychoanalysis, and progressive education shocked the American bourgeoisie. His novels, plays, essays, and bohemian life came to epitomize the Greenwich Village avant-garde of the 1910s and 1920s. Managing editor of radical magazine The Masses, Dell was twice put on trial for publishing subversive literature. Dell has been called "one of the most flamboyant, versatile and influential American Men of Letters of the first third of the Twentieth Century.”

Also a prolific writer, Dell wrote plays, novels, short stories, poetry and plays. His novels include: Moon-Calf. New York: A.A .Knopf, 1920; The Briary Bush. New York:A.A.Knopf,1921; Janet March. New York:A.A.Knopf,1923; This Mad Ideal. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1925; Runaway. New York: George H. Doran, 1925; An Old Man’s Folly. New York: George H. Doran,1926; An Unmarried Father. New York: George H. Doran,1927; Souvenir. New York: Doubleday, Doran.1929; Love Without Money. New York: Farrar and Rinehart,1931; Diana Stair. New York: Farrar and Rinehart,1932; and The Golden Spike. New York: Farrar and Rinehart,1934. Love in Greenwich Village. New York: George H. Doran,1926 is a book of short stories and poems. He also wrote several one-act plays for the Provincetown Players to perform, including: King Arthur’s Socks. From The Provincetown Plays, First Series. New York, F. Shay,1916; The Angel Intrudes: A Play in One Act, As Played by the Provincetown Players. New York: E. Arens,1918; and Sweet and Twenty: A Comedy in One Act, Stewart Kidd Modern Plays. Edited by F .Shay. Cincinnati: Stewart Kidd, 1921, as well as two film scripts for Hollywood, Little Accident. 1928 and Cloudy with Showers. 1931

His non-fiction includes Women as World Builders. Studies in Modern Feminism. Chicago: Forbes,1913; Upton Sinclair. A Study in Social Protest. The Murray Hill Biographies series. New York: George H. Doran, 1927; Were You Ever a Child? New York: A.A. Knopf,1919; Looking at Life. New York: A.A. Knopf,1924; Intellectual Vagabondage: An Apology for the Intelligentsia. New York: GeorgeH.Doran,1926; The Outline of Marriage: Pamphlets on Birth Control, No.12. New York: The American Birth Control League, 1926; Love in the Machine Age :A Psychological Study of the Transition from Patriarchal Society. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1936; and Homecoming: An Autobiography. New York: Farrar and Rinehart,1933.

Dell also edited the following: Herrick, Robert. Poems of Robert Herrick. Edited with an introduction by Floyd Dell. Little Blue Book, No.701. Edited by E .Haldeman-Julius. Girard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius,1924; Blake, William. Poems and Prose of William Blake. Edited with an Introduction by Floyd Dell. Little Blue Book, No.677. Edited by E. Haldeman-Julius Girard, Kansas: Haldeman - Juliius, 1925; Reed, John. Daughter of the Revolution and Other Stories. Edited with an introduction by Floyd Dell. New York: Vanguard Press,1927; and Burton, Robert. The Anatomy of Melancholy. Edited by Floyd Dell and Paul Jordan-Smith. New York. Farrar and Rinehart, 1927.

For more information about Floyd Dell, see:

Clayton, Douglas. Floyd Dell – The Life and Times of An American Rebel, Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 1994.

Sautter, R. Craig, Ed., Floyd Dell – Essays from the Friday Literary Review 1909-1913. December Press, Chicago, 1995.

Nierman, Judith. Floyd Dell: an annotated bibliography o secondary sources, 1910-1981, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Metuchen, N.J. & London, 1984.

Buhle, Mari Jo. Feminism and Its Discontents. A Century of Struggle with Psychoanalysis. Harvard University Press, 1998.

Duffy, Bernard. The Chicago Renaissance in American Letters - A Critical History, The Michigan State College Press, 1954.