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Waldo Frank (Waldo David Frank) Biography

(1889–1967), (Waldo David Frank), The New York Times, Evening Post, The Seven Arts, Nouvelle Revue Française


American novelist, literary and social critic, born in Long Branch, New Jersey, educated at Yale University. A freelance writer for The New York Times and Evening Post, he was a co-founder and editor of The Seven Arts, and also US correspondent for the Nouvelle Revue Française. Several early novels appeared, among them The Unwelcome Man (1917), The Dark Mother (1920), Rahab (1922), City Block (1922), Holiday (1923), and Chalk Face (1924), as well as a modernist play, New Year's Eve (1929). In addition, there were the critical essays and social studies in Salvos (1924), Virgin Spain (1926; revised 1942), and the travelogue Dawn in Russia (1932). He ranked as a literary radical and associated with Van Wyck Brooks, H. L. Mencken, and Lewis Mumford. He was strongly influenced by Freud, and in the 1920s, along with other writers like Max Eastman and John Reed, was drawn to the dialectical materialism of Marx, which strongly moulded future works. During the 1930s, an editor of New Republic and The Masses, and an active participant in the three Congresses of American Writers, Frank was at the centre of the debate over politics and culture. Novels such as The Death and Birth of David Markand (1934), The Bridegroom Cometh (1938), Summer Never Ends (1941), Island in the Atlantic (1946), and The Invaders (1948) addressed themselves directly to crucial social problems. All his fiction is characterized by an emotional style with a mixture of Marxism and a romantic conception of cosmic mysticism. Frank was well known for his work on Hispanic culture and contributed to inter-American understanding with such works as Our America (1919), The Re-Discovery of America (1928), America Hispaña (1931), In the American Jungle (1937), and South American Journey (1943). His other prose includes Chart for Rough Water (1940), The Jew in Our Day (1944), Birth of a World (1951), Bridgehead (1957), and The Prophetic Island: A Portrait of Cuba (1961). His Memoirs were published in 1973.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Samuel Foote Biography to Furioso