The Genius is Theodore Dreiser’s autobiographical novel about the turn-of-the-century art scene. It explores the multiple conflicts between art and business, art and marriage, and between traditional and modern views of sexual morality. Despite heavy editing, The Genius was deemed so shocking that its sale was immediately prohibited by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. It was not released until 1923, and thereafter the episode confirmed Dreiser’s status as a writer ahead of his time. Theodore Dreiser was an American novelist and journalist who the naturalist school and is known for portraying characters whose value lies not in their moral code, but in their persistence against all obstacles, and literary situations that more closely resemble studies of nature than tales of choice and agency.
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