15. Lit1930s - AMERICAN LITERATURE OF THE 1930s POLITICS...

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AMERICAN LITERATURE OF THE 1930s POLITICS AND AESTHTICS IN THE RED DECADE
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2 Literature in the 1930s Developed under the giant shadow of the Great Depression and the New Deal reforms Not usually thought of as years of exceptional creativity The most prominent development was the development of “American proletarian art”
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3 American Proletarian Art Two terms which are quite often taken to be mutually contradictory Seen as a failed venture of an undoubtedly very troubled epoch Seen as doomed from the very beginning Attempted to place individualism of creation in service to the social goals of a collectivist ideology
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4 The Literature of the 1930s The ideal of collectivity, cooperation, socialism or ‘solidarity’ was a distinguishing feature of the writings of many of the writers of that time What makes this literature a specifically American phenomenon is the interaction of gender and race in the works of most of the “proletarian” writers
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5 Michael Gold (1893-1967) Real name: Itzok Isaac Granich Changed it to Irwin Granich when he started publishing Finally remained in the history of American literature under the name of Michael Gold.
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6 Jews without Money (1930) The first true achievement of the immigrant autobiography in the USA One of the first to tell the story of the immigrant experience in Manhattan with such force and vividness A paradox: his chance of surviving as a writer has come to depend much more on religion and ethnicity that he abandoned than on his politics and ideology
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7 Jews Without Money Read today because of the Jewish identity he implicitly rejects at the end of the book and not because of the Marxist identity he explicitly took at the end of the book. He was the first to express the frustrations and poverty of the immigrants from Eastern Europe who flooded America at the turn of the century in search of the American Dream of wealth and happiness
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8 Jews Without Money Prefigured Clifford Odets’s proletarian play Wating for Lefty (1935) and Henry Roth’s novel Call It Sleep (1934) It is not about the thirties and did not emerge from a thirties’ sensibility but it has seemed the preeminent novel of the 1930s Published in February 1930 and by October the same year it had gone into its eleventh print
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9 Jews Without Money The center of the book is Katie Gold, whose persistent struggle to survive with dignity and generosity of spirit stands as a paradigm for the workers’ revolution It is also a fictionalized account of growing up in a working-class community It dramatizes the tensions between working- class families and bourgeois institutions of acculturation and social control
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Jews Without Money It is a chronicle of the efforts of its young hero to gain, through education, work or politics, a meaningful life in a hostile world Gold openly declared his literary debt to Jack London, as well as to Walt Whitman, who seemed to have influenced very much
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15. Lit1930s - AMERICAN LITERATURE OF THE 1930s POLITICS...

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