America Noir: Underground Writers and Filmmakers of the Postwar Era / Edition 1

America Noir: Underground Writers and Filmmakers of the Postwar Era / Edition 1

by David Cochran
     
 

ISBN-10: 1588342182

ISBN-13: 9781588342188

Pub. Date: 10/28/2004

Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press

In America Noir David Cochran details how ten writers and filmmakers challenged the social pieties prevalent during the Cold War, such as the superiority of the American democracy, the benevolence of free enterprise, and the sanctity of the suburban family. Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone featured victims of vast, faceless, bureaucratic powers. Jim

…  See more details below

Overview

In America Noir David Cochran details how ten writers and filmmakers challenged the social pieties prevalent during the Cold War, such as the superiority of the American democracy, the benevolence of free enterprise, and the sanctity of the suburban family. Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone featured victims of vast, faceless, bureaucratic powers. Jim Thompson's noir thrillers, such as The Grifters, portrayed the ravages of capitalism on those at the bottom of the social ladder. Patricia Highsmith, in The Talented Mr. Ripley, placed an amoral con man in an international setting, implicitly questioning America's fitness as leader of the free world. Charles Willeford's pulp novels, such as Wild Wives and Woman Chaser, depicted the family as a hotbed of violence and chaos.

These artists pioneered a detached, ironic sensibility that radically juxtaposed cultural references and blurred the distinctions between “high” and “low” art. Their refusal to surrender to the pressures for political conformity and their unflinching portrayal of the underside of American life paved the way for the emergence of a 1960s counterculture that forever changed the way America views itself.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781588342188
Publisher:
Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date:
10/28/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Preface: Mapping the Underground Culturexi
Introduction: Within the Shell of the Old: The Creation of the Cold War Consensus and the Emergence of the Underground Culture1
Part 1The Killer inside Me: Roman Noir Authors17
1Slipping Deeper into Hell: Jim Thompson's Theology of Absurdity19
2"It's Always for Nothing": The Paperback Worldview of Charles Willeford39
Part 2Progress and Its Discontents: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors53
3"I'm Being Ironic": Imperialism, Mass Culture, and the Fantastic World of Ray Bradbury55
4The Devil and Charles Beaumont73
Part 3Outside Looking In: Minority Artists89
5"So Much Nonsense Must Make Sense": The Black Vision of Chester Himes91
6"Some Torture That Perversely Eased": Patricia Highsmith and the Everyday Schizophrenia of American Life114
Part 4Little Shop of Horrors: Independent Filmmakers131
7"Lots of Socko": The Independent Cinematic Vision of Samuel Fuller133
8Roger Corman's Low-Budget Modernism151
Part 5Cracks in the Consensus: Liberal Artists173
9Richard Condon and the Paranoid Surreal Style in American Politics175
10Another Dimension: Rod Serling, Consensus Liberalism, and The Twilight Zone194
Conclusion: The Emancipation of Dissonance215
Notes223
Bibliography261
Index275

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >