American Writers and the Approach of World War II, by Ichiro Takayoshi

By Ichiro Takayoshi

Ichiro Takayoshi's publication argues that international conflict II remodeled American literary tradition. From the mid-1930s to the yank access into international struggle II in 1941, preeminent figures from Ernest Hemingway to Reinhold Neibuhr replied to the flip of the public's curiosity from the commercial melancholy at domestic to the threat of totalitarian platforms out of the country through generating novels, brief tales, performs, poems, and cultural feedback during which they prophesied the arrival of a moment global warfare and explored how the USA may well arrange for it. the range of competing solutions provided a wealthy legacy of idioms, symbols, and traditional arguments that was once destined to license America's promoting of its values and pursuits worldwide for the remainder of the 20 th century. bold in scope and addressing an incredible diversity of writers, thinkers, and artists, this e-book is the 1st to set up the outlines of yankee tradition in this pivotal interval.

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The Company’s prewar plays did no show those playwrights to be scared by the future. Far from it, they appeared to long for a relief of suspense, for a clear, hard, final clash with their country’s implacable enemies. Their path to this serene resolve had been anything but undeviating. The Great War of twenty years past was a formative experience for Howard, Anderson, Behrman, Sherwood, and Rice, who were all at the time in their early or mid-twenties. The war shook three of them, Howard, Sherwood, and Anderson, with particular force.

Below was a photograph of the Statue of Liberty, silhouetted by a rising sun beyond. Lest this montage should allow scope for divergent interpretations, the first sonnet specified the poem’s political message: We are so sound asleep, how can we know What thirst and want surround our sunny dream? Men wide-awake, men well-equipped, On certainty, attack the slumbering towns: Following Bénet’s example, Millay may well have titled this first sonnet Nightmare at Sunrise. The picture above visualized what could happen to the Statue of Liberty pictured below, at any moment in the age of air war.

Unlike Hemingway, however, for Gellhorn, icily dissecting the moral complexity of an American embedded in a foreign war was almost second nature. Her stories, thus, often emphasized how foreign crises she covered in fictions and dispatches were inaccessible not only to her readers back home but also to the journalists themselves who were temporarily entangled in the situations they reported on. A case in point is Mary, the journalist-protagonist of her novel on the crisis in Czechoslovakia, A Stricken Field (1940).

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