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Incendie de los angeles (l') (1939)
par Nathanael West
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That's our Homer! ( )
Nathanael West just isn't for me. I've now read both of his acclaimed works and didn't get much out of either one of them. The writing is flat and so are the characters. The themes that were once ahead of their time are now just old news. I totally get that the year is 1939, but I'm still just never going to connect with a book that has this much misogyny in it.
A little obvious in its symbolism and its exposition of its symbolism but I'm a sucker for what it's about.
A novel like this you have to evaluate it in the time it was written. Characters are racist, sexist and in general not from this time anymore. It's a hard one to read even with an understanding that those were different times in the 30s. Still, it's clear why this is a classic with its vivid description of Hollywood in its exploration of talkies, movies with sound.
There is not much to be found here in terms of a plot and you have to conclude that this is mainly a character study. I kept wondering if in about a hundred years we will think the same way about the novel Less Than Zero as we now do about this one.
It's a hard one to read with today's standards and sensibilities but it's also worth it if only to see how far we've come. If you are curious about Hollywood in the 30s and you like a total immersion in the days when the place started to gain its stride then this book is highly recommended. If you're looking for a good read then perhaps a different book fits the bill.
The setting is Hollywood in the 1930's. I believe the author was trying to show his contempt for Hollywood and its corrupting morals. The man character, Faye, is abusive, both physically and emotionally. A really bleak book, nothing redeeming. 160 pages
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The year 1939, when Europe was going up in flames and America clung to the hope that it need not become part of a world at war, turned out to be a miracle moment for Los Angeles fiction, seeing the publication of "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler, John Fante's "Ask The Dust," and "The Day of the Locust" by Nathanael West (the latter just reissued in a new edition, along with "Miss Lonelyhearts," by New Directions, $11.95), three books that distilled distinctly and in very different ways the city that was being written about, and have continued to dictate how Los Angeles is perceived today.
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The Day of the Locust is a 1939 novel by American author Nathanael West, set in Hollywood, California during the Great Depression, its overarching themes deal with the alienation and desperation of a broad group of odd individuals who exist at the fringes of the Hollywood movie industry.In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Day of the Locust #73 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Time magazine included the novel in its list of 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005, and noted critic Harold Bloom included it in his list of canonical works in the book The Western Canon.
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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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Une édition de ce livre a été publiée par Penguin Australia.