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

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

by Jonathan Veitch
     
 

ISBN-10: 0299157008

ISBN-13: 9780299157005

Pub. Date: 11/01/1997

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press

Nathanael West has been hailed as “an apocalyptic writer,” “a writer on the left,” and “a precursor to postmodernism.” But until now no critic has succeeded in fully engaging West’s distinctive method of negation. In American Superrealism, Jonathan Veitch examines West’s letters, short stories, screenplays and

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Overview

Nathanael West has been hailed as “an apocalyptic writer,” “a writer on the left,” and “a precursor to postmodernism.” But until now no critic has succeeded in fully engaging West’s distinctive method of negation. In American Superrealism, Jonathan Veitch examines West’s letters, short stories, screenplays and novels—some of which are discussed here for the first time—as well as West’s collaboration with William Carlos Williams during their tenure as the editors of Contact. Locating West in a lively, American avant-garde tradition that stretches from Marcel Duchamp to Andy Warhol, Veitch explores the possibilities and limitations of dada and surrealism—the use of readymades, scatalogical humor, human machines, “exquisite corpses”—as modes of social criticism. American Superrealism offers what is surely the definitive study of West, as well as a provocative analysis that reveals the issue of representation as the central concern of Depression-era America.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299157005
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
11/01/1997
Series:
Wisconsin Project on American Writers Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
Introduction: Who Can We Shoot? The Crisis of Representation in the 1930s3
1American Superrealism15
2Euclid's Asshole: The Dream Life of Balso Snell23
3"Lousy with Pure / Reeking with Stark": Contact47
4The People Talk: Miss Lonelyhearts67
5The Folklore of Capitalism: A Cool Million88
6The Cliches Are Having a Ball: The Day of the Locust113
Postscript: Madonna's Bustier; or "The Burning of Los Angeles"132
Notes139
Index175

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