Tuesday, April 20, 2010

'A fabric of tawdry, mass-produced dreams'

Six years later, his other masterpiece, The Day of the Locust, met with critical misapprehension and reader indifference. The American public and even the Popular Front-fixated intelligentsia were in no mood to be told that the common man was a sullen and disappointed entity ripe for violence and proto-fascism, and American culture a fabric of tawdry, mass-produced dreams.

-- Gerald Howard in Bookforum Apr-May 2010, reviewing
"Lonelyhearts: The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenny," by Marion Meade

How like today! That's why I'm working on a novel with some of the same themes, though nothing to do with Hollywood.

(That reference to the "Popular Front" stopped me, and I had to look it up on Wikipedia. It's still ambiguous as to what the writer is referring to, but I'd guess it was either or both "the alliance of political parties in France aimed at resisting Fascism" and Stalin's "policy of forming broad alliances with almost any political party willing to oppose the Fascists.")

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