Download American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of by Jonathan Veitch PDF

By Jonathan Veitch

Nathanael West has been hailed as “an apocalyptic writer,” “a author on the left,” and “a precursor to postmodernism.” yet earlier no critic has succeeded in absolutely attractive West’s precise approach to negation. In American Superrealism, Jonathan Veitch examines West’s letters, brief tales, screenplays and novels—some of that are mentioned the following for the 1st time—as good as West’s collaboration with William Carlos Williams in the course of their tenure because the editors of touch. finding West in a full of life, American avant-garde culture that stretches from Marcel Duchamp to Andy Warhol, Veitch explores the chances and barriers of dada and surrealism—the use of readymades, scatalogical humor, human machines, “exquisite corpses”—as modes of social feedback. American Superrealism deals what's definitely the definitive research of West, in addition to a provocative research that finds the problem of illustration because the principal problem of Depression-era America.

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

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Undaunted, Beano asks for charcoal and drawing paper, and he instructs the police to call the philanthropic organization that is sponsoring his work. He hopes that when the philanthropists find him there, busy drawing his corpse, they will be impressed by his dedication. "2 The philanthropists, however, do not need any convincing. They are so pleased by the publicity Balso's arrest has secured for their foundation that they renew his stipend on the spot. When Beano's friend comes to his cell the following morning to tell him the good news, he finds Beano lying beneath his corpse raving like a lunatic.

In addition, superrealism is a compound word, the first part of which acts as an intensifier that, in West's hands at least, caricatures-burlesques-deconstructs the mimetic codes and conventions upon which more traditional forms of realism rely. It is, as its name implies, an "excessive realism" that aspires to turn its particular kind of joking into a distinct mode of social criticism. 15 16 PART I As I noted earlier, the importance of surrealism in West's fiction has often been remarked upon, but it has been insufficiently understood, or more often, simply misunderstood.

Beano's cockeyed attempt to salvage it only underscores its mori- Euclid's Asshole 25 bund status. West was prescient enough to realize that it would do no good either to repeat the grand experiments of his predecessors or to indulge in meaningless revisions. ) Instead, he inaugurates his career with an investigation into the status and function of the artist, as well as the problem of representation and its existing aesthetic paradigms. In particular, "The Fake" mocks the cultivation of "scandal," which had become something of a rite of passage for any would-be artist anxious to be admitted to the inner circle of the anointed.

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