New Deal Modernism [electronic resource] : American Literature and the Invention of the Welfare State

By: Szalay, MichaelContributor(s): Fish, Stanley | Jameson, FredricMaterial type: TextTextSeries: Post-Contemporary Interventions: Publisher: Durham : Duke University Press, 2000Description: 1 online resource (353 p.)ISBN: 9780822381143Genre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: New Deal Modernism : American Literature and the Invention of the Welfare StateDDC classification: 810.9/112 LOC classification: PS228.M63S93 2000Online resources: Click here to access online
Contents:
Contents; Acknowledgments; Introduction The Literature of the Welfare State; Chapter One ''The Whole Question of What Writing Is'':Jack London, the Literary Left, and the Federal Writers'; Chapter Two The Politics of Textual Integrity:Ayn Rand, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway; Chapter Three Wallace Stevens and the Invention of Social Security; Chapter Four The Vanishing American Father: Sentiment and Labor in The Grapes of Wrath and a Tree Grows in Brooklyn; Chapter Five''The Death of the Gallant Liberal'':Robert Frost, Richard Wright, and Busby Berkeley
Conclusion New Deal PostmodernismNotes; Index
Summary: Argues that the writers of the 30s and 40s--Hemingway, Ayn Rand, John Dos Passos, Gertrude Stein, Richard Wright, Wallace Stevens et al. -- identified and understood the formal problems of literary modernism through an idea of the social and an idiom of s
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PS228 | PS228.E55B76 2004eb The Literature of Immigration and Racial Formation : PS228 | PS228.G38H47 2007 Queering the Underworld : PS228 | PS228.M63 | PS228.M63S68 2004 The Modernist Nation : PS228 | PS228.M63S93 2000 New Deal Modernism PS228 | PS228.P67 .B683 2011 | PS228.P67B63 2011 Reading Up : PS228 | PS228.R4 R93 2011 | PS228.R4R93 2011 Sum of the Parts : PS228 | PS228.V5 H43 2008 | PS228.V5H43 2008 Writing Vietnam, Writing Life :

Description based upon print version of record.

Contents; Acknowledgments; Introduction The Literature of the Welfare State; Chapter One ''The Whole Question of What Writing Is'':Jack London, the Literary Left, and the Federal Writers'; Chapter Two The Politics of Textual Integrity:Ayn Rand, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway; Chapter Three Wallace Stevens and the Invention of Social Security; Chapter Four The Vanishing American Father: Sentiment and Labor in The Grapes of Wrath and a Tree Grows in Brooklyn; Chapter Five''The Death of the Gallant Liberal'':Robert Frost, Richard Wright, and Busby Berkeley

Conclusion New Deal PostmodernismNotes; Index

Argues that the writers of the 30s and 40s--Hemingway, Ayn Rand, John Dos Passos, Gertrude Stein, Richard Wright, Wallace Stevens et al. -- identified and understood the formal problems of literary modernism through an idea of the social and an idiom of s

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In our era of vociferous strife over public arts funding, Szalay (English, Fordham Univ.) usefully outlines the government's role in establishing the social category of the artist as it is understood today. Although the welfare state typically fails to excite politically motivated critics, a wide range of American authors favored by such readers centered their works around the New Deal. In the works of anti-New Dealers such as Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens, Szalay unearths an urgent concern for the writer's function in society as an implicit response to federal policies. The specifically American conflict between free agency and group affiliation, as expressed in John Steinbeck's and Betty Smith's novels, Busby Berkeley's musicals, and Richard Wright's fiction, is recognized as a response to a federally mandated redefinition of the relation among the individual, the society, and the state. Drawing judiciously on American and European criticism, this splendidly nonpartisan book explains the shaping of American modernism by New Deal reforms to constitute a change so vast that it has so far passed unnoticed by political readers transfixed by the more spectacular idea of revolution. Recommended for academic and specialized collections.DUlrich Baer, NYU (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

In this original study, Szalay (Univ. of California, Irvine) offers an extended critique of the way the 1930s and their values--as articulated by Dewey, Keynes, and FDR--were mirrored, supplemented, and augmented (consciously or not) by artists who had discovered intuitive ways of furthering their work by swimming with the current of the times. The author deals with major figures such as Hemingway and Wright and with some who reached much larger and smaller audiences--Betty Smith, James M. Cain, Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, and even Busby Berkeley. A chapter devoted mainly to John Steinbeck is a useful example: though showing little background in the general field of Steinbeck criticism and a fairly narrow notion of the writer's biography, Szalay makes surprising and contentious suggestions of how Steinbeck in fact subverted the claims of the individual--particularly the female--in the interests of species (or dare one say "corporate") interests. Well worth acquiring, this title will be most useful as browsing matter; its insights will disturb readers on both the Right and the Left. It is less use for conventional research purposes. All collections. J. M. Ditsky University of Windsor

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Michael Szalay is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at University of California, Irvine.

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