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The human comedy
Saroyan, William
Adult Fiction SAROYAN

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An Armenian American with little formal education, Saroyan was a dramatist who disparaged the usual conventions of the form: "Plot, atmosphere, style, and all the rest of it," he wrote, "may be regarded as so much nonsense" (Three Times Three). His plays have been criticized as formless and his writing as undisciplined; yet his work is imbued with fondness for the human race and contains an infectious enthusiasm for society's misfits and innocents. Saroyan's dramatic career was launched with My Heart's in the Highlands (1939), a fantasy. The following year, The Time of Your Life (1939) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize---which Saroyan publicly refused on the grounds that commerce had no right to patronize art. This play, undoubtedly Saroyan's one enduring piece, takes place in a waterfront saloon where vivid characters wander in and out to come into contact with the philosophical Joe, a man of unending generosity.

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