American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of by Jonathan Veitch

By Jonathan Veitch

Nathanael West has been hailed as “an apocalyptic writer,” “a author on the left,” and “a precursor to postmodernism.” yet previously no critic has succeeded in totally enticing West’s precise approach to negation. In American Superrealism, Jonathan Veitch examines West’s letters, brief tales, screenplays and novels—some of that are mentioned the following for the 1st time—as good as West’s collaboration with William Carlos Williams in the course of their tenure because the editors of touch. finding West in a full of life, American avant-garde culture that stretches from Marcel Duchamp to Andy Warhol, Veitch explores the chances and boundaries of dada and surrealism—the use of readymades, scatalogical humor, human machines, “exquisite corpses”—as modes of social feedback. American Superrealism bargains what's definitely the definitive examine of West, in addition to a provocative research that finds the difficulty of illustration because the significant main issue of Depression-era America.

Show description

Read or Download American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of Representation in the 1930s PDF

Similar criticism & theory books

The Genuine Article: Race, Mass Culture, and American Literary Manhood (New Americanists)

Within the actual Article Paul Gilmore examines the interdependence of literary and mass tradition at a vital second in U. S. background. Demonstrating from a brand new standpoint the centrality of race to the development of white manhood throughout classification traces, Gilmore argues that during the years sooner than the Civil warfare, as literature more and more grew to become one other commodity within the capitalist cultural industry, American authors appropriated middle-brow and racially loaded cultural types to strengthen their masculinity.

Court Politics, Culture and Literature in Scotland and England, 1500-1540

The focal point of this examine is courtroom literature in early sixteenth-century England and Scotland. writer Jon Robinson examines courtly poetry and drama within the context of a posh approach of leisure, schooling, self-fashioning, dissimulation, propaganda and patronage. He areas chosen works less than shut serious scrutiny to discover the symbiotic courting that existed among court docket literature and demanding socio-political, fiscal and nationwide contexts of the interval 1500 to 1540.

Re-reading Saussure: The Dynamics of Signs in Social Life

Via an in depth re-reading of Saussures's paintings within the mild of latest advancements within the human, lifestyles and actual sciences, Paul Thibault presents us with the potential to redefine and refocus our theories of social meaning-making. Saussure's conception of language is mostly thought of to be a proper conception of summary sign-types and sign-systems, become independent from our person and social practices of constructing which means.

Martial: A Social Guide

Long ago either the importance and goal of Martial's poetry have frequently been misinterpreted or ignored altogether due to the specific literary and social heritage and context that tell his poetry. for instance, literary histories have given the impact that Martial wrote 'unobjectionably trivial' poems basically to cull favour from buyers; in addition they recommend that he had little to claim that used to be severe.

Extra resources for American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of Representation in the 1930s

Sample text

18 In contrast to those who rely on automatic techniques in order to create "art for art's sake," Greenberg identified another group of artists (to which we might add the names Marcel Duchamp and Nathanael West) who were indifferent to automatism as well as to its psychological implications. If that is the case, then what is the status of the unconscious for 20 PART I these particular artists? Does automatism, to quote Roger Shattuck, "dredge up profound, suppressed thoughts closely connected to childhood and primitive knowledge?

ON ART AND ANIMAL ACTS "The Fake" anticipates many of the themes that West will take up in his first novella, The Dream Life of Balso Snell (1931), and looks forward to Euclid's Asshole 27 several others-performance, the collapse of critical distance, commodification-that will preoccupy the author in the books to follow. Like that short story, Balsa Snell is a dadaesque geste at the expense of art. This time around, however;West undertakes not just a disavowal of high modernism and the idealism of its art-for-art's-sake aestheticism, but a critique of nothing less than the grand tradition of Western culture upon which it depends.

8 None of this criticism would come as a surprise to West. He has, in fact, already anticipated his critics: "Stark, clever, disillusioned stuff" (32), observes one of the characters in the novella. " wonders another. Or better yet: "I'd give [him] a B minus and a good spanking" (23). Whether one ultimately decides on applause or a good spanking, there is little doubt that the architecture of West's imagination emerges in toto here. In fact, Balsa Snell constitutes a virtual breviary of images, interests, and techniques that West will go on to develop in the work to follow.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.58 of 5 – based on 25 votes