James Gould Cozzens

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Cozzens, James Gould


Born Aug. 19, 1903, in Chicago. American author.

The heroes of Cozzens’ first novels, Confusion (1924) and Michael Scarlett (1925), are rebels defeated by the bourgeois world. The novel Cockpit (1928) describes an individualist who defends his rights with wolflike tenacity. Cozzens’ most successful novels are Guard of Honor (1948) and By Love Possessed (1957). The former describes the events of World War II (1939–45).


Children and Others. New York, 1964.
Morning, Noon, and Night. New York, 1968.


Bracher, F. The Novels of James Gould Cozzens. New York, 1959.
Maxwell, D. E. S. Cozzens. Edinburgh-London, 1964.
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A small sampling of authors includes James Gould Cozzens, Philip K.
Teachout telegraphs his intentions to shrink Mencken in The Skeptic's epigraph, quoting a line from James Gould Cozzens about the "Fool Killer," the heroic slayer of idiocy who ultimately finds himself humbled.
Beginning with a chapter entitled "Two American Classicists: Walter Piston and James Gould Cozzens," Pollack attempts to place Piston in the context of modern culture and show his relationship to other artists by making the point that Piston and Cozzens enjoyed careers that were eerily parallel.
In the past we had the Book-of-the-Month Club and three channels and no Internet; you could always be sure that the secretary at the next desk at work had seen the same Alcoa Theater Hour or read the same James Gould Cozzens novel that you had.
Works whose aim is the glorification of the middle class nearly always seem second-rate; think of the long-forgotten novels of James Gould Cozzens, which were lavishly praised when they were published.