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U.S.A. : 42e Parallèle - L'An premier du siècle - La Grosse galette (1938)
par John Dos Passos
20th Century Literature (171)
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Actuellement, il n'y a pas de discussions au sujet de ce livre.
overview of American society
Een omvangrijke roman - verdeeld over drie boeken - die de levens van een handvol personages volgt, doorspekt met nieuwsstromen, 'camerstandpunten' en iet of wat speelse biografieën van enkele grote namen uit de 19de eeuwse en vroeg twintigste eeuwse Amerikaanse geschiedenis. De levenslijnen van de verschillende personages lopen dooreen, soms opzichtig en kronkelend, soms haast als een terzijde. We volgen ze in de anticipatie van de arbeidersrevolutie, in de aanloop naar de Eerste Wereldoorlog, aan het front, tijdens de vredesbesprekingen, in de opkomende vliegtuigindustrie, Hollywood, naar Sacco en Vanzetti.
Knap, uitgebreid, maar ook wat langdradig en eentonig. De newsreels en camera-eyes geven de verhalen hun kleur, het boek zijn soundtrack. Ze tijdens het lezen overslaan is eigenlijk geen optie ...
My what a splendid book this is. Vast in its scope and magnanimous in its treatment of the varied strata that made up a nation coming to terms with the 20th century. I defy you to enjoy this, despite it being well over 1,000 pages long, a trilogy that follows 12 characters some related and others not. Not only is it written in a style that is incredibly accessible for such a long novel, it’s written in four styles that are incredibly accessible. Even the stream of consciousness episodes are so well crafted and (ahem) so short, that they fly by.
While I enjoyed the characters and what they got up to, what I most enjoyed was how I saw the nation of the US through their eyes and experiences. It was a promising time for the US and various ideals are put to the test including the spectral opposites of capitalism and socialism. Neither of them come off well, but I kind of felt, a bit like in Sinclair’s masterpiece The Jungle, that it was the ones who espoused a more societal basis for life that were painted with more touches of heroism. Certainly, you sympathised a lot more with those who fell victims to mass industry and the drive to industrialise at the sake of the common man.
Certainly Dos Passos here composed a classic but not just for his storytelling skills. It’s a nation analysed and put to the test of history. Interestingly, it shows how weak the ideals are, ideals that, even today are either praised or vilified in equal measure depending on which facet of US citizenry you talk to. I’m not sure that the US has really grown much more mature in its pursuit of an identity than it is portrayed in this novel. I wonder what the USAnians among you would respond to that.
For outsiders who want to know more of why the US is as it is, this is a good novel to reflect on. There’s such a vast amount here to consider there’s no way to do it justice. Even just one of the 12 character threads would provide book clubs with hours of discussion. For those of you on the inside, I think this is a good one to have under your belt to say you know where US literature is coming from and to provide food for thought as you continue to build on what those 12 characters built before you.
da "42.mo Parallelo", "Millenovecentodiciannove" e "Un mucchio di quattrini" di Dos Passos. Versione italiana di Ettore Capriolo
The U.S.A. trilogy is a major work of American writer John Dos Passos, comprising the novels The 42nd Parallel (1930); 1919, (1932); and The Big Money (1936). The three books were first published together in a single volume titled U.S.A. by Harcourt Brace in January, 1938. Dos Passos had added a prologue with the title "U.S.A." to The Modern Library edition of The 42nd Parallel published the previous November, and the same plates were used by Harcourt Brace for the trilogy. Houghton Mifflin issued two boxed three-volume sets in 1946 with color endpapers and illustrations by Reginald Marsh. The first illustrated edition was limited to 365 copies, 350 signed by both Dos Passos and Marsh, in a deluxe binding with leather labels and beveled boards. The binding for the larger 1946 trade issue was tan buckram with red spine lettering and the trilogy designation "U.S.A." printed in red over a blue rectangle on both the spine and front cover. This illustrated edition was reprinted in various bindings until the Library of America edition appeared in 1996, 100 years after Dos Passos' birth.
The trilogy employs an experimental technique, incorporating four narrative modes: fictional narratives telling the life stories of twelve characters; collages of newspaper clippings and song lyrics labeled "Newsreel"; individually labeled short biographies of public figures of the time such as Woodrow Wilson and Henry Ford and fragments of autobiographical stream of consciousness writing labeled "Camera Eye". The trilogy covers the historical development of American society during the first three decades of the twentieth century.
In 1998, the Modern Library ranked U.S.A. Trilogy 23rd on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
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Wikipédia en anglais (1)
Unique among American books for its epic scope and panoramic social sweep, U.S.A. has long been acknowledged as a monument of modern fiction. Now The Library of America presents an exclusive one-volume edition of this enduring masterwork by John Dos Passos, including for the first time detailed notes and a chronicle of the world events that serve as a backdrop. In the novels that make up the trilogy--The 42nd Parallel, 1919, and The Big Money--Dos Passos creates an unforgettable collective portrait of America, shot through with sardonic comedy and brilliant social observation. He interweaves the careers of his characters and the events of their time with a narrative verve and breathtaking technical skill that make U.S.A. among the most compulsively readable of modern classics. A startling range of experimental devices captures the textures and background noises of twentieth-century life: "Newsreels" with blaring headlines; autobiographical "Camera Eye" sections with poetic stream-of-consciousness; "biographies" evoking emblematic historical figures like J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford, John Reed, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thorstein Veblen, and the Unknown Soldier. Holding everything together is sheer storytelling power, tracing dozens of characters from the Spanish-American War to the onset of the Depression. The U.S.A. trilogy is filled with American speech: labor radicals and advertising executives, sailors and stenographers, interior decorators and movie stars. Their crisscrossing destinies take in wars and revolutions, desperate love affairs and harrowing family crises, corrupt public triumphs and private catastrophes, in settings that include the trenches of World War I, insurgent Mexico, Hollywood studios in the silent era, Wall Street boardrooms, and the tumultuous streets of Boston just before the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. The volume contains newly researched chronologies of Dos Passos's life and of world events cited in U.S.A., notes, and an essay on textual selection. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
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Classification décimale de Melvil (CDD)813.52 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1900-1944
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