The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin: A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal

The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin: A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal

Barry Werth / Jun 04, 2020
The Scarlet Professor Newton Arvin A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal During his thirty seven years at Smith College Newton Arvin published groundbreaking studies of Hawthorne Whitman Melville and Longfellow that stand today as models of scholarship and psychologica
  • Title: The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin: A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal
  • Author: Barry Werth
  • ISBN: 9780385494694
  • Page: 244
  • Format: Paperback
  • During his thirty seven years at Smith College, Newton Arvin published groundbreaking studies of Hawthorne, Whitman, Melville, and Longfellow that stand today as models of scholarship and psychological acuity He cultivated friendships with the likes of Edmund Wilson and Lillian Hellman and became mentor to Truman Capote A social radical and closeted homosexual, the circuDuring his thirty seven years at Smith College, Newton Arvin published groundbreaking studies of Hawthorne, Whitman, Melville, and Longfellow that stand today as models of scholarship and psychological acuity He cultivated friendships with the likes of Edmund Wilson and Lillian Hellman and became mentor to Truman Capote A social radical and closeted homosexual, the circumspect Arvin nevertheless survived McCarthyism But in September 1960 his apartment was raided, and his cache of beefcake erotica was confiscated, plunging him into confusion and despair and provoking his panicked betrayal of several friends.An utterly absorbing chronicle, The Scarlet Professor deftly captures the essence of a conflicted man and offers a provocative and unsettling look at American moral fanaticism.
    The Scarlet Professor Newton Arvin A Literary Life Mar , The Scarlet Professor is hard to read, as it dug into the witch hunt days when the Post Office had the power in their quest to rid the country of pornography to open mail and record the names of the sender and recipient The book first delves into the year tenure of Newton Arvin as a respected professor at Smith College. The Scarlet Professor A New Opera Home The Scarlet Professor, winner of the American Prize for Best Opera composition, is a new opera based upon a true story of shame and scandal from a renowned English professor arrested and disgraced for possessing gay magazines and materials. The Scarlet Professor Newton Arvin A Literary Life Mar , The Scarlet Professor Newton Arvin A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal During his thirty seven years at Smith College, Newton Arvin published groundbreaking studies of Hawthorne, Whitman, Melville, and Longfellow that stand today as models of scholarship and psychological acuity. The Scarlet Professor by Barry Werth Barry Werth is the author of Banquet at Delmonico s, Days, The Scarlet Professor, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Damages, and The Billion Dollar Molecule He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts Get news about Biography The Scarlet Professor Newton Arvin A The Scarlet Professor is hard to read, as it dug into the witch hunt days when the Post Office had the power in their quest to rid the country of pornography to open mail and record the names of the sender and recipient The book first delves into the year tenure of Newton Arvin as a respected professor at Smith College. The Scarlet Professor Summary eNotes Complete summary of Barry Werth s The Scarlet Professor eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Scarlet Professor. The Scarlet Professor The New Yorker The Scarlet Professor By Barry Wert h September , Save this story for later Save this story for later The New Yorker, October , P LIFE AND LETTERS about literary critic The Scarlet Professor A new opera revisits the story Sep , The Scarlet Professor A new opera revisits the story Sumner Thompson, front right, who plays the role of U.S Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield, performs The Scarlet Professor The New York Times Aug , In the interest of historical accuracy, I would like to comment on Caleb Crain s review of Barry Werth s biography, The Scarlet Professor Aug , about my uncle Newton Arvin Newton Arvin
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    About "Barry Werth"

      • Barry Werth

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    755 Comments

    1. Newton Arvin, though a central figure in the early days of American literary studies, is not important enough or interesting enough to warrant a full scale biography based solely on his accomplishments as a scholar and long time professor at Smith College Therefore, it is Arvin s life as a closeted homosexual and the scandal that ignominiously outed him that give this book its raison d tre While Arvin himself is not always a sympathetic figure when arrested, he was quick to try to save himself b [...]


    2. For much of his life, Newton Arvin born in 1900 was a respected literary critic and award winning author But Arvin lived a tortured and repressed existence His greatest fear was that the public would find out about his homosexual desires His career as a professor at Smith college, where he had taught for almost 40 years, came to an end when the police raided his apartment and found a stash of pornography really not much than a collection of muscle magazines The injustices commited against Arvin [...]


    3. I picked this book up after reading Arvin s classic bio of Herman Melville which is itself worth checking out Werth s treatment of the tale is reminiscent of the genre of non fiction I like to call The Expanded New Yorker Article That s fine, I love the New Yorker, but the weakness endemic to the genre is the feeling that 150 pages would suffice and you re reading a three hundred page book Regardless, I read the whole book and don t regret it Werth s treatment of Arvin s tortured feelings about [...]


    4. The Literary World revisitedThis book was given to me as a gift so I felt an urge to read it right away It was a B It s about the literary life of Newton Arvin who was shattered by a scandal in 1960 I was born in 1959 so it was interesting to me to read of what was going on at the time It ventures into the closeted homosexual literary elite This book gave me other book ideas that I really want to read like The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne, Letters Leadership by Van Wyck Brooks, Roderick Hudson by [...]


    5. Just finished reading Barry Werth s The Scarlett Professor Newton Arvin a Life Shattered by Scandal New York Nan A Talese, 2001 At the same time I picked up the only book on Yaddo in the TPL system, Micki McGee s, Yaddo Making American Culture New York The New York Public Library Columbia University Press, 2008 The Yaddo book, an edited collection based on an exhibition at the New York Public Library includes a collection of essays about Yaddo and some of the luminaries who resided there over th [...]


    6. It s fitting that I finished reading this book on a day when the U.S Supreme Court issued a decision and a non decision that advanced LGBTQ rights in the U.S.A If you have moments of thinking that the United States has not progressed much over the last 50 to 100 years, this book will remind you of just how much some things here have progressed It is a depressing account of a brilliant and talented scholar and critic whose life was in many ways ruined by the closet and by the idiotic discriminati [...]


    7. This was a great read, I had never heard of Newton Arvin before reading this and I can t say since reading it I ve become a fan of his work literary criticism isn t the lightest of reading but it is his story that is interesting The heart of this book is describing the lengths some will go to destroy what they fear is a threat to their society The Pink Scare, as Werth puts it, followed on the heels of the Red Scare and sought to identify and persecute homosexuals in the the 1950s Arvin is a trag [...]


    8. This a very sad tale about a literary critic genius who is gay and cannot come to terms with this and whose times, the first half of the twentieth century cannot come to terms with homosexuality For his first forty years he does not recognize the issue Once he does he ends up in psychiatric hospitals having electro shock therapy In his later years he is arrested for possession of pornography It makes up pause and wonder how far we have come from those times in the not so distant past If there is [...]


    9. Four stars for the quality, though not a fun read Even before the historically important tragedy and injustice of Newton Arvin, Ned Spofford, and Joel Dorius , amongst others, arrest and downfall over privately owned gay erotica and porn, Arvin was a consistently self tormenting guy I am curious to read, and would have liked in the biography itself, of Arvin s own work For all of his self loathing, Arvin was at his peak one of the premiere American lit critics and biographers of Melville, Whitm [...]



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