Sunday, January 24, 2010

book notes

Dancing in the Dark by Morris Dickstein

The beat writers harken back to the 30's -- ginsberg to micheal gold, kerouac to hobo literature.

Americans, unlike Europeans, didn't resort to militarism or totalitarianism in the 30's because they blamed personal failure on themselves -- the result of individualism and 50 years of Success evangelism.

Part of popularity of 30's gangster films is that gangsters were the only plausibly success entrepreneurs in the 30's. And the 30's monsters were sympathetic characters, whereas to 50's monsters were invaders.

Fitzgerald's talent was self-knowledge, which allowed him to write great fiction about himself at an early age. Fitzgerald's coining of The Jazz Age for the 1920's referred not to music but to anti-bourgeois culture.

The Day of the Locusts -- "Once there they disover that sunshine isn't enough. . .they haven't the mental equipment for leisure, the money nor the physical equipment for pleasure. . .the sun is a joke"