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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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Voicing the Dummy

Voicing the Dummy

(p.34) (p.35) 2 Voicing the Dummy
Ring Lardner and the Other

Douglas Robinson

Oxford University Press

“Who Dealt?” is a story about a game of auction bridge, evidently, given the year of its writing. Lardner's work is usually full of games, of course—it is one of the things he is popular for. But importantly, as he shifts from his work as a sports column writer in the first decade of this century to columns and short stories in the teens and twenties, he becomes less interested in games as games, as a rule-governed technique or as quasi-aesthetic play. Games come increasingly to serve an orientational function for Lardner, a way of positioning and building the human interactions that interest him the most. One of the ways Lardner uses games in his stories is as class structure. There are the lower-class games that he doesn't play himself or that he reports on as a sportswriter.

Keywords:   bridge, games, human interactions, class structure, sportswriter

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