Rousing the Nation: Radical Culture in Depression America

By Laura Browder | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER TWO
DOS PASSOS ISSUES A CHALLENGE Can Language Make A Revolution?

Although many radical writers were involved in the debate over the shape the new literature should take, it was John Dos Passos who, in his U.S.A. trilogy, most clearly identified both the literary forms that could no longer be effective in a time of crisis and, in his own trilogy, the form that could work.

Between 1930 and 1933 John Dos Passos published the three volumes-- The 42nd Parallel ( 1930), Nineteen Nineteen ( 1932), and The Big Money ( 1933)--that would appear, with the addition of the hitherto unpublished introductory sketch "U.S.A." as an assembled trilogy, U.S.A. The trilogy's scope is vastly ambitious, not only in subject matter but in aesthetic terms: Among the techniques Dos Passos uses to describe America during the first three decades of this century are stream-of-consciousness autobiographical passages, capsule biographies of notable inventors, more traditional narratives which are interwoven with one another in nearly Tolstoian terms, and "Newsreels" composed of montages of newspaper headlines, popular songs, and news fragments.

The U.S.A. trilogy, with its depiction of characters ranging from Wobblies to public relations magnates, from radical journalists to Harvard-educated aesthetes, has been seen by many critics as the great historical narrative of American life in the first decades of this century. As Donald Pizer notes, "Dos Passos had in the late 1920s already begun to characterize himself as a 'historian' of American life, and he was to use this designation for the remainder of his career."1U.S.A., as Melvin Landsberg notes, can certainly be considered

-39-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Rousing the Nation: Radical Culture in Depression America
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 220

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?