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American Night

The Literary Left in the Era of the Cold War
Wald, Alan M. (Book - 2012 )
American Night
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American Night , the final volume of an unprecedented trilogy, brings Alan Wald's multigenerational history of Communist writers to a poignant climax. Using new research to explore the intimate lives of novelists, poets, and critics during the Cold War, Wald reveals a radical community longing for the rebirth of the social vision of the 1930s and struggling with a loss of moral certainty as the Communist worldview was being called into question. The resulting literature, Wald shows, is a haunting record of fracture and struggle linked by common structures of feeling, ones more suggestive of the "negative dialectics" of Theodor Adorno than the traditional social realism of the Left. Establishing new points of contact among Kenneth Fearing, Ann Petry, Alexander Saxton, Richard Wright, Jo Sinclair, Thomas McGrath, and Carlos Bulosan, Wald argues that these writers were in dialogue with psychoanalysis, existentialism, and postwar modernism, often generating moods of piercing emotional acuity and cosmic dissent. He also recounts the contributions of lesser known cultural workers, with a unique accent on gays and lesbians, secular Jews, and people of color. The vexing ambiguities of an era Wald labels "late antifascism" serve to frame an impressive collective biography.
Authors: Wald, Alan M., 1946-
Title: American night
the literary left in the era of the Cold War
Publisher: Chapel Hill :, The University of North Carolina Press,, [2012]
Characteristics: xviii, 412 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Contents: Preface
Introduction Late Antifascism
Chapter 1. Postwar
The Culture Wars of Kenneth Fearing
The Mask of Irony
Rage against the Machine
Study in Fundamentals
The Virtue of intentions
Chapter 2. Scenes from a Class Struggle
Somewhere beyond Proletarianism
The Intellectual under Fire
The Making of Zhdanovists
Grand Illusions
Humboldt's Gift
Chapter 3. The Cult of Reason
Coming Home
After the Popular Front
The Sublime Saxton
The Ruins of Memory
Gender and the Crisis of Form
Chapter 4. The "Homintem" Reconsidered
Butterfly Friends
The Closeted Past
The Double Life of Harry Dana
Tough Guys
Mama's Boys
Chapter 5. Lonely Crusaders, Part I
The Great Outsider
"I Tried to Be a Communist"
Personal History
American Pages
The Radical Stranger
Chapter 6. Lonely Crusaders, Part II
Melville in Old Saybrook
Contingencies of Gender
The Fog
The Etiology of Mourning
Red, Black, and Gay
Exile and Its Discontents
Chapter 7. Jews without Judaism
Deconversion and Disavowal
Friends of the Unconscious
Analytical Realism
The Book of Memory
A Novel of Emotions
Chapter 8. Off Modernity's Grid
The Strange Career of People's Poetry
Imaginary Friends
Memories of the Future
Socialist Surrealism
Auden in Brooklyn
Conclusion The Sense of an Ending
The Afterlife of Literary Communism
The Indeterminacy of Art
The Presence of an Absence
A Note on Methodology
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index.
Local Note: 53
ISBN: 0807835862
9780807835869
Statement of Responsibility: Alan M. Wald
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages 325-390) and index.
Subject Headings: Right and left (Political science) in literature. Socialism and literature United States History 20th century. Communism and literature United States History 20th century. American literature 20th century History and criticism.
Topical Term: Right and left (Political science) in literature.
Socialism and literature
Communism and literature
American literature
LCCN: 2012012540
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