By John Dos Passos

ISBN-10: 0544341457

ISBN-13: 9780544341456

Foreword by means of E. L. Doctorow.

Overview

With 1919, the second one quantity of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos maintains his "vigorous and sweeping landscape of twentieth-century America" (Forum), lauded on ebook of the 1st quantity not just for its scope, but in addition for its groundbreaking kind. back, utilizing a number of experimental units that will encourage a complete new iteration of writers to persist with, Dos Passos captures the various textures, flavors, and heritage noises of recent existence with a cinematic contact and exceptional nerve.

1919 opens to discover the USA and the realm at battle, and Dos Passos's characters, a lot of whom we met within the first quantity, are thrown into the snarl. We stick with the daughter of a Chicago minister, a wide-eyed Texas lady, a tender poet, a thorough Jew, and we glimpse Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Unknown Soldier.

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Additional info for 1919 (The USA Trilogy, Book 2)

Example text

Why should he want to see God, he wonders, when God appears in “faces of men and women I see” (245)? Having dispatched theology, Section 49 anticipates the objection that, unlike God, the 40 Poetry before the Civil War self is limited by the boundaries of life and death. “And as to you Death, and you bitter hug of mortality, it is idle to try to alarm me” (245). ” The stink of the corpse yields “the white roses sweet-scented and growing” (245). In Sections 50 and 51, Whitman completes the transcendental sweep of the poem, dramatizing the poet at the edge of understanding, the limits of language.

Divine am I inside and out,” he says, building steam toward a litany of admiration for the body’s beauty: “If I worship one thing more than another it shall be the spread of my own body, or any part of it” (211). His egalitarianism extends to the despised or neglected parts of the human body as much to every constituent of the body politic. He portrays the body as both a metaphorical landscape (“shaded ledges”) and the means for cultivating the land (the phallus appearing as a “masculine colter,” that is, the blade of a plough) (211–12).

He tells a family story, how his mother in her youth was visited by a Native American woman whose “wonderful beauty and purity” made the white girl long for another visit, which never happened (547). The swimmer, the general, and the mother in her youth variously represent the experience of personal loss, with the poet giving vent to the elegiac strain that he would powerfully realize in poems published in the 1860s. In “The Sleepers,” the poet is intent on resolving the sense of loss, on rising with the sun at the end of the poem healed and restored by the descent into 44 Poetry before the Civil War darkness and exposure to the fearful side of his fantasies.

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1919 (The USA Trilogy, Book 2) by John Dos Passos


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