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JOHN DOS PASSOS — Manhattan Transfer

JOHN DOS PASSOS — Manhattan Transfer

                                        JOHN DOS PASSOS
≡★≡  Americký prozaik, dramatik, esejista a reportér. Během své dlouhé a úspěšné spisovatelské kariéry napsal 42 románů, celkem je autorem více než 400 uměleckých děl.
≡★≡  Zděšen brutalitou války a bezvýznamným utrpením, kterého byl svědkem, stával se Dos Passos čím dál tím více radikálním a kromě toho se odcizoval světu a společnosti, již zosobňoval jeho otec. Stal se z něj politický rebel.≡★≡  American novelist
Also known as: John Roderigo Dos Passos
Born: January 14, 1896, Chicago, Illinois
Died: September 28, 1970, Baltimore, Maryland
Literary movement: Modernism Lost Generation
Notable works: USA Trilogy
Notable awards: Antonio Feltrinelli Prize
≡★≡  “Anyone who tried to find some of John Dos Passos's classic novels and travel narratives in recent years would have had to look long and hard. Many of his books had been out of print.... Yet after years of neglect, Dos Passos's reputation is once again on the rise, and The Library of America is publishing a new collection of his writing.” — The New York Times Overview
≡★≡  Considered by many to be John Dos Passos's greatest work, Manhattan Transfer is an "expressionistic picture of New York" (New York Times) in the 1920s that reveals the lives of wealthy power brokers and struggling immigrants alike. From Fourteenth Street to the Bowery, Delmonico's to the underbelly of the city waterfront, Dos Passos chronicles the lives of characters struggling to become a part of modernity before they are destroyed by it.
≡★≡  More than seventy–five years after its first publication, Manhattan Transfer still stands as “a novel of the very first importance” (Sinclair Lewis). It is a masterpeice of modern fiction and a lasting tribute to the dual–edged nature of the American dream.
Product Details:
ISBN–13: 9780618381869
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/02/2003
Edition description: None
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 320,522
Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)
≡★≡  Most underrated book of our generation
≡★≡  I can't believe I'm the first person to review this book. I read it for my modern fiction class and was totally blown away by it. The way in which dos Passos transcribes not only the lives of his characters — both main characters and those who only exist in a few passages — but how their lives entwine with one another is breathtaking. Truly a beautiful, well–written and poetic novel. Don't pass it up!
REVIEW
By Ted Gioia
≡★≡  John Dos Passos’s 1925 novel Manhattan Transfer is perhaps best remembered nowadays as a trial run for this same author's U.S.A. Trilogy, a massive 1,200–page work that would take up most of Dos Passos’s attention over the next decade.  Most of the quirky ingredients that characterize Manhattan Transfer — the fragmented narratives, the bits of newspaper stories and song lyrics inserted into the text, the
hedonistic and alienated characters, the occasional adoption of stream–of–consciousness techniques — reappear on a more ambitious scale in the later work.
Written by: The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica
≡★≡  American writer, one of the major novelists of the post–World War I “lost generation,” whose reputation as a social historian and as a radical critic of the quality of American life rests primarily on his trilogy U.S.A.
≡★≡  The son of a wealthy lawyer of Portuguese descent, Dos Passos graduated from Harvard University (1916) and volunteered as an ambulance driver in World War I. His early works were basically portraits of the artist recoiling from the shock of his encounter with a brutal world. Among these was the bitter antiwar novel Three Soldiers (1921).
≡★≡  Extensive travel in Spain and other countries while working as a newspaper correspondent in the postwar years enlarged his sense of history, sharpened his social perception, and confirmed his radical sympathies. Gradually, his early subjectivism was subordinated to a larger and tougher objective realism. His novel Manhattan Transfer (1925) is a rapid–transit rider’s view of the metropolis. The narrative shuttles back and forth between the lives of more than a dozen characters in nervous, jerky, impressionistic flashes.
≡★≡  The execution of the Anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti in 1927 profoundly affected Dos Passos, who had participated in the losing battle to win their pardon. The crisis crystallized his image of the United States as “two nations” — one of the rich and privileged and one of the poor and powerless. U.S.A. is the portrait of these two nations. It consists of The 42nd Parallel (1930), covering the period from 1900 up to the war; 1919 (1932), dealing with the war and the critical year of the Treaty of Versailles; and The Big Money (1936), which races headlong through the boom of the ’20s to the bust of the ’30s. Dos Passos reinforces the histories of his fictional characters with a sense of real history conveyed by the interpolated devices of “newsreels,” artfully selected montages of actual newspaper headlines and popular songs of the day. He also interpolates biographies of such representative members of the establishment as the automobile maker Henry Ford, the inventor Thomas Edison, President Woodrow Wilson, and the financier J.P. Morgan. He further presents members of that “other nation” such as the Socialist Eugene V. Debs, the economist Thorstein Veblen, the labour organizer Joe Hill, and the Unknown Soldier of World War I. Yet another dimension is provided by his “camera–eye” technique: brief, poetic, personal reminiscences.
≡★≡  U.S.A. was followed by a less ambitious trilogy, District of Columbia (Adventures of a Young Man, 1939; Number One, 1943; The Grand Design, 1949), which chronicles Dos Passos’ further disillusion with the labour movement, radical politics, and New Deal liberalism. The decline of his creative energy and the increasing political conservatism evident in these works became even more pronounced in subsequent works. At his death at 74, his books scarcely received critical attention.
≡★≡  http://www.britannica.com/
≡★≡  http://archive.org/stream/JohnDosPassos/__John_Dos_Passos_djvu.txt
≡★≡  American reviewers were frustrated by the lack of cohesion in the novel and by the noticeable absence of closure. Upton Sinclair (No. 20) objected to the enigmatic
impressionism of the Camera Eye and the slight connections between the characters in
separate narrative sections. Though he acknowledged Dos Passos could 'write circles
around' Theodore Dreiser, he could learn from Dreiser how to tell a story straight
without all the jazzed–up special effects. Like many other reviewers, though, Sinclair
believed Dos Passos had the potential to become the greatest of American novelists.
≡★≡  Edmund Wilson (No. 19) called The 42nd Parallel a 'striking advance' over Manhattan Transfer because Dos Passos had captured 'the minds and lives of his middle–class characters' with astonishing realism, and made us see America through their eyes. He noted that Dos Passos was the first American writer 'to have succeeded in using colloquial American [speech] for a novel of the highest artistic seriousness'. ≡★≡  He was particularly impressed by his ability to tell so much about a character so quickly entirely without authorial intrusion or commentary, though he noted that occasionally the characters became 'two–dimensional caricatures of qualities or forces which [Dos Passos] hates'. Yet Dos Passos seemed to be 'the only novelist of his generation who is concerned with the large questions of politics and society', and for that reason, the completed work 'may well turn out to be the most important novel which any American of Dos Passos's generation has written'. On the political Left, Granville Hicks (No. 23) wrote that 'Dos Passos catches, as no other author has done, the peculiar quality of life in our era — the new forces and their effects on men's thoughts and actions.' Like most critics on the Left, however, he believed at this point that Dos Passos's promise was greater than his achievement and awaited the commitment to revolution that they looked and hoped for. ?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•?•

JOHN DOS PASSOS — Manhattan Transfer

 

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