Stephen Schryer


On his book Fantasies of the New Class: Ideologies of Professionalism in Post-World War II U.S. Fiction

Cover Interview of May 08, 2011

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“Social democracy depends on a pragmatic, socially-conscious professional class.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“This exalted belief in literature’s influence was a constitutive illusion of postwar literary culture ... writers conceived of social reality as a tissue of ideas produced by competing knowledge elites, and they reshaped the American novel accordingly.”

On the second:

“For Ralph Ellison, what Gunnar Myrdal refers to as the American Creed cannot be located in any specific class or institution, certainly not the new class of the 1940s and 1950s.  In spite of his attraction to new class fantasy, Ellison emerges as the figure who most clearly sees the economic underpinnings of American professionalism.”