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

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Unformatted text preview: AMERICAN LITERATURE OF THE 1930s POLITICS AND AESTHTICS IN THE RED DECADE Proletarian Art The literature in the 1930s in the USA developed under the giant shadow of the Great depression and the New Deal reforms. The thirties are not usually thought of as years of exceptional creativity but the literary scene was far from boring. The most prominent development during these years was the development of American proletarian art. Proletarian Art Two terms which are quite often taken to be mutually contradictory Proletarian art is seen as a failed venture of an undoutedly very troubled epoch. It is seen as doomed from the very beginning because it attempted to place individualism of creation in service to the social goals of a collectivist ideology, the ideology of the New deal reforms. The Literature of the 1930s The ideal of collectivity, cooperation, som 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. Michael Gold (1893-1967) His real name was Itzok Isaac Granich Changed it to Irwin Granich when he started publishing his articles and fiction Finally remained in the history of American literature under the name of Michael Gold. 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 The paradox of literary history is that his chance of surviving as a writer has come to depend much more on the religion and ethnicity that he abandoned than on his politics and ideology. Jews Without Money It is read today because of his Jewish identity he implicitly rejected at the end of the book 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 Jews Without Money His book prefigured Clifford Odetss proletarian plays, Wating for Lefty (1935) being the most famous of them, and Henry Roths 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. 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. Jews Without Money...
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2011 for the course LITERATURE 105 taught by Professor Stevens during the Winter '11 term at Mitchell Community College.

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

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