English Department
242 Goldwin Smith
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
USA

Office phone: (607) 255-9313
Department phone: (607) 255-6800
Department fax: (607) 255-6661
Email: drs6@cornell.edu
Facebook: facebook.com/SchwarzEndtimes
Twitter: twitter.com/#!/danrschwarz

Home Address:
925 Mitchell Street, #3
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-5735

 

I am the Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell University, where with great pleasure I have taught undergraduates and graduates since 1968. I am especially proud to have received in 1998 the Cornell Russell Distinguished Teaching Award and in 1999 the title of Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow in recognition for Distinguished Teaching. My current project is a book entitled Reading the European Novel. The first volume is entitled Reading the European Novel to 1900: A Critical Study of Major Fiction from Cervantes’s Don Quixote to Zola’s Germinal. The second volume will cover the twentieth century and include, among others, novels by Proust, Mann, Kafka, Camus, Bassani, di Lampedusa, Saramago, and Kertesz. My personal interests include films, travel, theatre, art museums, tennis, swimming, exercise, and restaurants.


 

Most recent work:

Endtimes bookFrom Jayson Blair, Howell Raines, Judith Miller and WMDs to growing competition from online and twenty-four-hour cable news, the first decade of the twenty-first century was not particularly kind to the New York Times. In this groundbreaking study of the recent life and times of America's most important newspaper, Daniel R. Schwarz describes the transformation of the Times as it has confronted not only its various scandals and embarrassments but also the rapid rise of the internet and blogosphere, the ensuing decline in circulation and print advertising, and the change in what contemporary readers want and how they want to get it.

Drawing on one-on-one interviews with past and present editors, including every living executive editor, as well as the publisher, Schwarz discusses virtually every aspect of the contemporary Times, from columnists to cultural coverage. He explains how, in response to continuous online updating and twenty-four-hour all-news radio and television, the Times has become much more like a daily magazine than a traditional newspaper, with increased analysis (as opposed to reporting) of the news as well as value-added features on health, travel, investing, and food. After carefully tracing the rise of the Times's website, Schwarz asks whether the Times can survive as a print newspaper, whether it can find a business model to support its vast print and online newsgathering operation, and whether the Sulzberger family can survive as controlling owners.

He also asks whether the Times, in its desperate effort to survive, has abandoned its quality standards by publishing what he calls "Timeslite" and "Timestrash." Writing as a skeptical outsider and devoted lifelong reader, Schwarz ironically concludes that the Times is the worst newspaper in the world, except for all the others. Endtimes? is a must-read for Times readers as well as anyone interested in the radical change in print and broadcast media in the rapidly evolving Internet Age.

In 2014, the new paperback edition of Endtimes? Crisis and Turmoil at the New York Times appeared with a Preface bringing it up to date, some fine-tuning, and a slightly different title.

He also asks whether the Times, in its desperate effort to survive, has abandoned its quality standards by publishing what he calls “Timeslite” and “Timestrash.” Writing as a skeptical outsider and devoted lifelong reader, Schwarz ironically concludes that the Times is the worst newspaper in the world, except for all the others. Endtimes? is a must-read for Times readers as well as anyone interested in the radical change in print and broadcast media in the rapidly evolving Internet Age.

See excerpts from reviews of Endtimes? Crises and Turmoil at the New York Times, 1999-2009

Listen to a podcast interview (item #18) from May 7, 2012 about Endtimes? Crisis and Turmoil at the New York Times, 1999-2009 below (Skip to 7:45 for the interview)

Click here to see a recorded interview with Cornell University. (Youtube link)

Listen to an Interview with Bill Jaker on WSKG-FM (Binghamton), June 26, 2012.

After the publication of Endtimes, I wrote a series of blogs for the Huffington Post.

Buy Endtimes? from Amazon

Buy Endtimes? from Barnes and Noble

Kindle and Nook editions available

"The History and Future of the New York Times," C-Span, Dec. 28, 2012 and Jan. 2, 2013:
an hour plus film of my Nov. 28, 2012 talk on Endtimes? Crises and Turmoil at the New York Times, 1999-2000 at the Museum of the City of New York


Festschrift CoverFestschrift in my honor, Reading Texts, Reading Lives: Essays in the Tradition of Humanistic Cultural Criticism in Honor of Daniel R. Schwarz, eds. Helen Maxson and Dan Morris: co-published by Rowman and Littlefield (UK) and Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press, 2012.

In addition to an introduction that speaks with great generosity about my influence and also includes as the final chapter a lengthy interview about my work and career, the volume has an annotated bibliography of my work.

Festschrift

Introduction (pdf)

Dan Morris Interview for Festschrift in honor of Daniel Schwarz

Annotated bibliography (pdf)

Buy Festschrift from Amazon

Cornell Chronicle article on Festschrift

From the back cover:

"Our culture attempts to separate competing ideological factions by denying relationships between multiple perspectives and influences outside one's own narrow interpretive community, The distinguished contributors to this volume find Daniel R. Schwarz's pluralistic self-questioning approach to what he calls "'reading texts and reading lives' quite relevant to the current historical moment and political situation. A legendary scholar of modernist literature, Schwarz's critical principles are a healthy corrective to cultural hubris.

The contributors treat works ranging from fictions by Joyce, Conrad, Lawrence, Morrison, and Woolf to the poetry of Yeats, Holocaust literature, the environmental writings of Wendell Berry and the photographs of Lee Friedlander. These authors focus on a different works, but they follow Schwarz in stressing formal elements most often associated with traditional realism while keeping an eye on historical and author-centered approaches. The contributors also follow Schwarz in their emphasis on narrative cohesion and in how they look for signs of agency among characters who possess the will to alter their fate, even in a seemingly random universe such as one depicted by Conrad.  Schwarz encourages a values-centered approach that leaves room for the reader to address the ways in which reading a text correlates to the reader's ability to find meaning and value in experience outside the text. Like Schwarz, the contributors look for intentionality of authorial meaning (rather than something called an 'author function') as well as  for the relationship between lived experience and  the imagined world of the literary work (rather than the endless semiotic play of an ultimately indecipherable text)"

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Daniel Morris

Paul Gordon:  “Approaching Angels: The Case for The Case for a Humanistic Poetics.”

Helen F. Maxson: “The Pluralistic Humanism Wendell Berry.”

Ruth Hoberman: “The Three-Way Conversation of Gilbert Cannan, Mark Gertler, and D.H. Lawrence.”

Ross Murfin: “Of Temples, Prisons, Umbrellas, and Revolutionaries: Culture,  Consciousness, and Poetry in D.H. Lawrence.”

Brian May:  “Yeats’s Modernism in Time of Civil War.”

Margot Norris: “Female Transmigration in James Joyce’s ‘Eveline’ and Nella Larson’s  Quicksand.”

Ed O’Shea:  “From Joyce to Toibin: Postmodern Dublin in Mothers and Sons.”

Steve Sicari:  “Repetition in Modern Fiction: From Paralysis to Hope.”

Beth Newman:  “Humanism Under Erasure: Identity and Nation in Joyce’s Ulysses.”

Joseph Heininger:  “Michael O’Siadhail’s Inscriptions of Holocaust Survivors’ Writings in The Gossamer Wall: “A summons to try to look, to try to see.”

Daniel Morris:  Historical Memorialization and Personal Memory in Lee Friedlander’s  Self-Portrait and American Monument.”

Holly Stave: “In a Mirror Dimly:  The Limitations of Love in Toni Morrison’s Love.”

Daniel R. Schwarz in conversation with Daniel Morris

Brian W. Shaffer:  “A Bibliography of Major Works by Daniel R. Schwarz.”


One of my more recent books is In Defense of Reading: Teaching Literature in the Twenty-First Century. Other recent books are Reading the Modern British and Irish Novel, 1890-1930 (Blackwell, 2005); Broadway Boogie Woogie: Damon Runyon and the Making of the New York City Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003):

The book jacket reads: "What happens when we read imaginative literature? What do we learn from reading such texts? Reading complements our experience, sharpens our perceptions, gives us insight into how other humans live, enables us to understand other cultures and periods, and gives us aesthetic pleasure. In Defense of Reading: Teaching Literature in the Twenty-First Century is a passionate and beautifully written defense of the pleasures of reading. With clarity and eloquence, the author--influential literary critic and award-winning literary critic Daniel Schwarz--shares his insights on why we read, how we read, and what transpires when we undertake what he calls 'the odyssey of reading.'"

"Other topics covered include the art of teaching, humanistic criticism, and the history and future of studying literature. The author explores various forms of resistant readings and discusses changes in reading, writing, and teaching in the electronic age. In Defense of Reading concludes with an optimistic look into the future of literary studies."

"In Defense of Reading: Teaching Literature in the Twenty-First Century embraces the joys of the written word while teaching us to be better readers. Schwarz's book imparts wisdom that will resonate with teachers and lovers of literature everywhere."

 


The book jacket reads: "Damon Runyon grew up in the West, moved to New York City, and became one of the leading voices of American popular culture, from sports writing to short fiction, this unique collecion offers an eclectic sampling of his extradordinary talent. Here are newspaper pieces, stories--including the last one he ever composed--poetry, and, of course, the Broadway tales for which he is chiefly remembered: Guys and Dolls, Blood Pressure, The Bloodhounds of Broadway, and others. Featuring works that are impossible to find elsewhere, and Runyon's signature eye for detail--particularly the sounds, smells, and tastes of New York--this book brings an American icon to a new generation of readers.

About the Author
Damon Runyon (1884-1946) was a correspondent for the Hearst chain of papers in New York City. He complemented his journalism with plays, short stories, and poetry, and became one of the most recognizable voices of the Depression era.
Pete Hamill, introduction, has written many bestselling books and won the Damon Runyon Award from the Denver Press Club. He is a Distinguished Writer-in-Residenc at New York University.
Danile R. Schwarz, editor, annotator, and essay contributor is the Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English and the Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell University. He is the author of Broadway Boogie-Woogie: Damon Runyon and the Making of New York City Culture."

 


"Reading the Modern British and Irish Novel 1890-1930"(2005) sets up each of the books it introduces with an engaging short piece of essential background before delving into the kind of explanations most likely to appeal to the new reader. The background humanizes texts that might seem too forbidding, and Schwarz goes for a 'plural' approach designed to make modernist fiction much more readily available to a whole range of potential needs. The chapter on Dubliners begins with a peedily informative three paragraph's on Joyce's feelings about turn-of-the-century Dublin and his hope to produce stories that might cure the world of 'Dublin-think' (130). It then describes the three different audiences and the thirteen different intrepretations 'Araby' invites (132-35). The broadly diverse sens of human interest that results can only dispel any contrary sense of modernism's exculsivity, difficulty, or autonomy . . . . Schwarz's method similarly humanizes Ulysses and To the Lighthouse, suggesting apporaches to these modernist texts that are so pluralistic they will surely convince readers of all kinds that modernism is essentially inviting . . .

Schwarz . . . wants to restore 'humanistic values' to pride of place among reading practices. . . . This humanistic priority matches perfectly, in a way, with the introductory enterprise; if introducing modernism is all about making the difficulty accessible, then it might well best be done by foregrounding the value of the hard individual quest for meaning . . . . [E]ven skeptical readers will most likely be willing to attribute excess humanity to Schwarz's manifest generosity; more than anything else, Reading the Modern British and Irish Novel is welcoming and warm, and the tone alone makes it a lovely way to bring new readers in from the cold" (Jesse Matz, James Joyce Quarterly 41:4 [Summer 2006])

 


The book jacket reads: "Daniel R. Schwarz has studied and taught the modern British novel for decades and now brings his impressive erudition and critical acuity to bear in this insightful study of the major authors and novels from 1890-1930.

After a compelling introduction outlining his method and a substantial first chapter establishing the intellectural, cultural, and literary contexts in which the modern British novel was produced, Schwarz turns to close reading of modernist masterworks. He shows how Hardy's Jude the Obscure, Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim, Lawrence's Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow, Joyce's Dubliners and Ulysses, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, and Forster's A Passage to India form essential components in a modernist cultural tradition which includes the visual arts.

In his characteristic lucid and readable style, Schwarz's work takes account of recent developments in theory and cultural studies. His persuasive study will not only be invaluable to students and teachers, but will also be of interest to the general reader."

 


Damon Runyon, Guys and Dolls and Other Writings (Penguin Classic) introduced by Pete Hamill and edited and annotated by Cornell professor Daniel R. Schwarz.

"[This volume] makes us see afresh a writer whose hard-bitten and ironic point of view prefigures the fictional worlds of The Godfather and The Soparnos. There's much more to Runyon than Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra looking sharp and talking cute in the 1955 film version of Guys and Dolls.

(In his editor notes to this collection, Schwarz describes a noir, the bleak little fable ["Drean Street Rose" as a noir, and he hints that Runyon was influenced by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. . . . Schwarz is right . . . to stress that Runyon took the side of the underdog, an inclination that informed both his fiction and his work as a crime and sports reporter. A hefty chunk of Runyon's reportage is included here. By the mid-1920s Runyon was perhaps the most famous newspaperman in America." (Richard Raynor, "His Wit was Hard-Boiled" Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2008)

 


The book jacket reads: "Damon Runyon's popularity and importance in shaping American culture during the first half of the twentieth century can hardly be exaggerated. In lively and exuberant chapters that include a panoramic cultural view of New York City between the World Wars--with an emphasis on the city's colorful nightlife--Daniel R. Schwarz examines virtually every facet of Runyon's career, from sports writer, daily columnist, trial reporter, and Hollywood figure to the author of the still widely read short stories that were the source of the Broadway hit Guys and Dolls.

As part of his discussion of Runyon's artistry, Schwarz skillfully examines the special language of the Broadway stories known as 'Runyonese' and shows how that language was shaped by urban culture, including vaudeville, jazz, radio, tabloid journalism, and gangster argot. While analyzing Runyon's high-spirited work in terms of historical contexts, popular culture, and the changing function of the media, Schwarz argues that Runyon was an indispensable figure in creating our public images of New York City culture. Indeed, 'Runyonese' has become an adjective describing flamboyant behavior. Schwarz demonstrates Runyon's impact on contemporary culture, including how his depiction of the demimonde and underworld have influenced The Godfather films and The Sopranos. "

 


"This fascinating and comprehensive study of Damon Runyon at last gives us a scholarly study that places him in company like Aaron Copland and other major cultural figures that would have surprised him but probably, secretly, delighted him too. Bravo!"--William R. Taylor "Schwarz's book makes a lively case for Runyan as a vernacular poet, a quirky character in his own right, and with Walter Winchell, a great reporter-impressario of New York's midtown demimonde during its golden years"--Morris Dickstein

 


My book Imagining the Holocaust (New York: St. Martin's, 1999) has been recently published in paperback. The publisher writes:

"Schwarz asks, 'What is the role of the literary imagination in keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive for our culture?' He argues that, as we move further away from the original events, the kinds of narratives with which authors render the Holocaust horror evolve to include fantasy and parable. He is aware of how diverse audiences respond differently to these highly charged and emotional texts. Employing both a chronological overview and a synchronic approach he discovers recurring themes and structural patterns in the works he examines. He begins with first person reminiscences--Wiesel's Night, Levi's Survival at Auschwitz, and The Dairy of Anne Frank--before turning to realistic fictions such as Borowski's This Way for the Gas Chamber, Ladies and Gentlemen, Hersey's The Wall, and Kosinski's The Painted Bird. In later chapters, he explores diverse kinds of fictions and discusses the mythopoeic vision of Schwarz-Bart's The Last of the Just, the psychoanalytic complexity of Styron's Sophie's Choice, the illuminating distortions of Epstein's King of the Jews, the Kafkaesque parables of Appelfeld, and the fantastic cartoons of Spiegleman's Maus, books. He also includes Lanzmann's film Shoah and fiction by Ozick, Schulz, and Green as well as Keneally's Schindler's List and Spielberg's academy award-winning film of that novel .

 

Schwarz-Wiesel

Daniel Schwarz with Elie Wiesel, Spring 2010
Book cover

 


 


I have also written several other books including Reconfiguring Modernism: Explorations in the Relationship Between Modern Art and Modern Literature (New York: St. Martin's, 1997).  The publisher writes:

"Schwarz suggests diverse directions for studying the relationship between modern art and modern literature. Bringing together thirty years of experience on the subject and drawing upon specific texts and paintings, Schwarz proposes inter-relationships between such striking pairs of artists as Gauguin and Joseph Conrad, Manet and Henry James, Cézanne and T.S. Eliot, as well as a triptych consisting of Picasso, Stevens, and Joyce. He focuses on the high modernist period from 1890 to 1940 and examines the way in which we 'read' paintings as narrative. Reconfiguring Modernism provocatively discusses the reading of intertextual relationships between modern painters and modern authors as well as modern painters, especially Picasso's and Matisse's artistic "dialogue" on dance and music, and sheds new light on the influence of African, Asian, and Pacific cultures on European modernism. By juxtaposing works of art and literature, Schwarz erases the boundaries between visual and written texts. As we move into the last years of the twentieth century, this book will be crucial to our understanding of modernism."

My other books are Rereading Conrad (2001) has just appeared in hardcover and paperback. Narrative and Representation in Wallace Stevens (1993), The Case for a Humanistic Poetics (1991), The Transformation of the English Novel, 1890-1930 (1989; rev. ed. 1995), Reading Joyce's ``Ulysses'' (1987), The Humanistic Heritage: Critical Theories of the English Novel from James to Hillis Miller (1986), Conrad: The Later Fiction (1982), Conrad: ``Almayer's Folly'' through ``Under Western Eyes'' (1980), and Disraeli's Fiction (1979). I have edited The Dead (1994) and The Secret Sharer (1997) in the Bedford Case Studies in Contemporary Literature Series, and I am co-editor of Narrative and Culture (1994). For more information on my books, see my bibliography.  My books can be purchased at Amazon.com.

In recent years I have been publishing poetry and a little fiction. I am a founding member and past President of the International Narrative Society, have directed nine NEH seminars -- five for college teachers, four high school teachers -- and have lectured widely in the United States and abroad, including China, Australia, Czech Republic (Prague), Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Israel, France, and the UK many times.