Fiedler, Leslie

Fiedler, Leslie,

1917–2003, American critic, b. Newark, N.J., grad. New York Univ. (B.A. 1938), Univ. of Wisconsin (Ph.D. 1941). In his best-known and most controversial work, Love and Death in the American Novel (1960), Fiedler uses Freudian analysis to argue the presence of subtle homosexual themes in the work of Twain, Hawthorne, and other writers. His numerous other works include An End to Innocence: Essays on Culture and Politics (1955), Being Busted (1969), The Stranger in Shakespeare (1972), Freaks (1978), What Was Literature? (1982), Fiedler on the Roof (1991), and The Tyranny of the Normal (1996). Fiedler taught throughout his career, at the Univ. of Montana (1941–56) and subsequently at the State Univ. of New York at Buffalo.


See biography by M. R. Winchell (1986); S. G. Kellman and I. Malin, ed., Leslie Fiedler and American Culture (1999).

Fiedler, Leslie (Aaron)

(1917–  ) literary critic, educator; born in Newark, N.J. His trilogy beginning with Love and Death in the American Novel (1960) analyzed American fiction in terms of its embodied archetypes and cultural myths; his later work located such myths in popular art. A University of Wisconsin Ph.D., he taught at the University of Montana (1941–64) and in 1964 joined the faculty of the State University of New York at Buffalo.