Originally published in 1933 by The Macaulay Company, Yesterday's Burdens is the second novel by Robert M. Coates, "Lost Generation" writer and long-time art critic at The New Yorker. Prior to publication, three chapters of the novel appeared in The New Yorker under the title "The Dada City" (1930), and another chapter in The American Caravan, a Yearbook of American Literature (1931).
Yesterday's Burdens was first resurrected in 1975 by the Southern Illinois University Press as part of their "Lost American Fiction" series, and included a new afterword by Malcolm Cowley. A paperback version of that edition was published the following year by the Popular Library. The novel has been out of print since.
This new edition of Yesterday's Burdens contains Malcolm Cowley's afterword from the 1975 edition as well as a new introduction by Mathilde Roza, associate professor of American Literature and American Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and author of Following Strangers: The Life and Literary Works of Robert M. Coates (University of South Carolina Press, 2011).
"Coates composed the book like a collage, employing an experimental writing style that incorporated billboards, advertising slogans, and traffic signs to make immediate and vivid the perceptions and experiences of the characters. In Yesterday's Burdens, Coates's 'Dada' spirit brings to life the cacophonous, visually chaotic and mentally demanding life of New York City."
-- Mathilde Roza & Jack Mearns, "Collecting Robert M. Coates," Firsts, The Book Collector's Magazine, October 2007
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