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Despite the three Pulitzer prizes awarded him Thornton Wilder may very well have turned out to be one of the few enduring writers of our timeThere have been countless other authors who in his day have been far more discussed That was inevitable for a man who has neither hastened to follow nor troubled to oppose the current mode who has gone his own way and who has clearly never sought the popularity which has periodically been his Unger 355 The key to his significance is his extraordinary ability to combine his philosophy and ethics with his personal experiences in perhaps one of the greatest paradoxical plays ever written Thornton Niven Wilder was born in Madison Wisconsin on the twenty-seventh of April in 1897 His father Amos Parker Wilder was a strict Calvinist who combined strong economic interests with politics Block and Shedd 959 in his work as the editor owner and publisher of a newspaper Isabella Thornton Niven his mother was the daughter of a Presbyterian minister They were to influence their sons works greatly Wilder also had a sister Isabel who was to become a distinguished novelist in her own right Wilders early education began in Hong Kong where his father was serving as American consul general in Shanghai Goldstone 11 He was then schooled at Berkeley California Chefoo China and Ojai California before completing high school back at Berkeley in 1915 He studied the classics at Oberlin College and Yale University where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1919 Unger 356 Wilder spent a year as a resident of the American Academy at Rome where he began writing The Cabala Back in the United States he taught French at Lawrenceville High School in New Jersey from 1921-1928 and began doing graduate work at Princeton where he took his Master of Arts degree in 1926 The Cabala was issued as a novel that year but
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