The Great Depression and the Culture of Abundance
Kenneth Fearing, Nathanael West, and Mass Culture in the 1930s
By (author) Rita Barnard
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Great Depression and the Culture of Abundance by Rita Barnard
Book DescriptionTwo contradictory, or apparently contradictory, pairs of terms - depression and abundance, and literature and mass culture - make up the framework of this study in 1930s culture. Rita Barnard suggests that despite the painful national experience of scarcity and poverty, one can detect in the culture of the American thirties the now familiar outlines of an image-mediated, consumer society. She argues that the hierarchical opposition between 'high art' and 'mass culture' was powerfully contested in cultural productions of the depression era: as book clubs, radio, popular exhibitions, star conductors such as Toscanini and many other vehicles brought high culture to millions of people. In the meantime, writers with 'serious' literary interests borrowed from the discourse of the media in their writing. The central figures of this study emerge as pre-eminent - and in some sense prophetic - figures: their poetry and prose illuminate emergent cultural forces that have since attained new stature in our post-modern world. Despite their sharp and often prescient social critique, they are not to be mistaken for elitists, they recognised at once the deceit and the promise of our emergent culture of abundance.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521450348
(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 27-Jan-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Rita Barnard
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This Companion examines how Nelson Mandela became the icon he is today and ponders the meanings and uses of his internationally recognizable image.
Apartheid and Beyond, Paperback (September 2012)
Apartheid and Beyond explores a wide range of South African writings to demonstrate the way apartheid functioned in its day-to-day operations as a geographical system of control, exerting its power through such spatial mechanisms as residential segregation, bantustans, passes, and prisons.
Great Depression and the Culture of Abundance, Paperback (January 2009)» View all books by Rita Barnard
Examines the response of American leftist writers from the 1930s to the rise of mass culture.
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