Theodore Dreiser's "An Amateur Laborer" (written 1904, published posthumously)

Theodore Dreiser's "An Amateur Laborer" (written 1904, published posthumously)

Author: 
Theodore Dreiser

From the preface: "Composed in 1904, An Amateur Laborer" is the account of Dreiser's experience after he returned to New York from Philadelphia in February 1903 -- despondent, emotionally and physically exhausted, with only a few dollars between him and starvation. The dreary weeks in Brooklyn and his desperate and humiliating efforts to find any sort of job culminated in his resuce by his brother Paul and his stay in William Muldoon's sanitarium near Purchase, New York. His physical and mental rehabilitation was largely effected by Muldoon's treatment and by his work as a day laboarer on the New York Central Railroad, until his return to New York in December 1903 and the gradual recovery of his editorial and creative capacities."

Book Excerpt: 
"For three years . . . I was a victim of neurasthenia. For that period I endured all the pains, all dreads, all the agonies of one whose mind is under a cloud. From me, as I behld it then, and as I know it to be now, a world or given order was passing. I was about to lose consciousness of these things that collectively we call life. Thought failed me, reason failed me. I could not follow out a given chain of ideas if my life had depended on it. . . . "
Year of Publication: 
Sat, 1983-01-01
Rights Information: 
copyright, University of Pennsylvania Press
City of Publication: 
Philadelphia
Book Publisher: 
University of Pennsylvania Press