"Set 'em up for the boys in the back room."
RISING from a long submergence in the politics and literature of the nineteenth century, during which I read almost nothing that people were reading, I have just regaled myself with practically the complete works of James M. Cain, Horace McCoy, Richard Hallas, John O'Hara, William Saroyan, John Steinbeck and Hans Otto Storm. These writers are all of fairly recent arrival; they have most of them been influenced by Hemingway; they all live or have lived in California, and they have all, to a greater or lesser extent, written about that State. They thus constitute a sort of group, and they suggest certain generalizations.
Let us begin with Mr. Cain and his school. The Postman Always Rings Twice came out in 1934; and Mr. Cain's second novel, Serenade, in 1937. They were followed by other similar novels which apparently derived from Mr. Cain. The whole group stemmed originally from Hemingway, but it was Hemingway turned pica-