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Ring Lardner and the Other$
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Douglas Robinson

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780195076004

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195076004.001.0001

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Lardner’s Dual Audience

Lardner’s Dual Audience

(p.142) (p.143) 5 Lardner’s Dual Audience
Ring Lardner and the Other

Douglas Robinson

Oxford University Press

Lardner always wrote for two audiences; it is one of the refrains of Lardner criticism. He was famous and was cited by the critics as a great artist. As Dana Tiverton expands in an interview piece published nine months before Lardner's death, “he has two distinct audiences.” This—in a culture devoted to double-bound ideals of egalitarianism and excellence, democracy and genius—spells success, pleasing both the masses and the elite. Only a few American writers have reached that measure of success: Fitzgerald, Twain, Emerson, and a handful of others. Placing Lardner in this group is high recognition indeed.

Keywords:   two audiences, Dana Tiverton, masses, elite, great artist, success, genius

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