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Preview — The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos
The 42nd Parallel (The U.S.A. Trilogy #1)
he had confidence in railroads,
he had confidence in communications,
he had confidence in transportation,
he believed in iron.
Andrew Carnegie believed in iron, built bridges Bessemer plants blast furnaces rolling mills;
Andrew Carnegie believed in oil;
Andrew Carnegie believed in steel;
always saved his money
whenever he had a million dollars he invested it.
Andrew Carnegie became the richest man in the world
I need to qualify my upcoming bold statement with two disclaimers. First off, I'm already on record as being underwhelmed by the hallowed novel I'm about to mention in my forthcoming bold statement. Second, The 42nd Parallel is only the first part of a three volume trilogy that should probably be considered as a whole, and I have only read this volume. But what's the point of writing these reviews if your not going to bring strong opinions. So despite the aforesaid reservations, here it goes: wh...more
Each chapter is titled with a character's name and each evolves, through their own eyes, and when paths cross, through others. Most characters are carried onto the other books. Supposedly the books can be read on their own, but I ...more
I first read this novel, the first of the author’s trilogy, U.S.A., about forty-five years ago, when I was in grad school. I remember that it really knocked me for a loop back then since it was full of new ways of providing the reader with information about time and place of the characters. Dos Pasos used techniques that I hadn’t seen before: Newsreel excerpts in bold print and asides he called “The Camera’s Eye.” The novel itself tells the story ...more
I liked this book a lot, it makes me want to read more from the period... except I think I may have already read some stories from this period! Which would suggest that this book is better than those other books I read and forgot.
This book tells a story that is very broad - in geography for one, there are characters that in their ...more
The 42nd Parallel is unique and groundbreaking in that, for its time, it found new and interesting ways to bore its reader to tears. First, it relentlessly bludgeons its reader with its annoyingly liberal usage of free indirect speech. Rather than giving its characters voice and motion, The 42nd Parallel prides itself on summary, exposition, and trading off engagement for its crappy style. Second, it ...more
Manic, vibrant, socially conscious, epic, crowded, busy, sweaty, angry, clear-eyed idealism, rowdy, tragic, subjective, objective, infinitely small, buzzing, slashing, eponymous, snide, pathos, scattershot, fecund, inspirational, landmark, surging, colorful, explosive, magnificent.
I'm almost holding back on the next two installments since I don't want to be dissapointed. This one's a corker.
The first two pages is some of the greatest prose I've ever laid eyes on. What I hope will be my life's ph ...more
First, as an introduction to Dos Passos, who – if you are anything like I was until recently (and only because of my book list obsession) – you have never heard of, some quotes:
“[He’s:] the greatest living writer of our time.” -Jean Paul Sartre, 1938
“Dos Passos came nearer than any of us to writing the Great American Novel, and it’s entirely possible he succeeded. I can only say, from my own point of view, that no novel I read while in college stimulated m ...more
Some swallow their misgivings and become locked into jobs and marriages that they only partially care for, some pursue entrepreneurial dreams that are bleak at times and invigorating at others, and some characters just become aimlessly lost in every sense ...more
Como con Manhattan Transfer, esta novela tiene más valor como idea que como producto. ¿A quién no le interesa reflejar la complejidad de una sociedad efervescente, los destinos de gente que se mezcla y se ven afectados por su tiempo, las noticias que marcan destinos? El problema viene si para lograr todo e ...more
Dos Passos famously uses four different modes of writing in this work. The most conventional one, which is the main body of text, follows the youth and adulth ...more
Now understand this: America had a chronicler at work in John Dos Passos who captured what was "really" going on in the country, layers below the Carnegies, the Roosevelts and others in whom history puts its trust. In creating The 42nd Parallel, Dos Passos uses ...more
ینگه دنیا - جان دس پاسوس (هاشمی) ادبیات جلد یک از سه
مدار 42 با اخباری آغاز میشود که شامل ترانههای عامیانه، سرعنوان روزنامهها و هيجان و تب و تاب کشور در آغاز قرن بیستم است
"Sarebbe stata una bella vita, se non fosse stato innamorato" (trad C. Pavese.
Mi piace la traduzione di Pavese, anche se non ho mai letto l'originale. Quindi meglio dire che mi piace il tono generale che Pavese dà alla narrazione.
Il libro ha 4 livelli di lettura. Quelli che io preferisco sono il romanzo tradizionale e le biografie brevi (queste ultime mi ricordano un poco Whitman e anche Lee Masters). Non capisco il "cinegiornale", scrittura sperimentale, in pratica un mosaico di parti di artic ...more
It is told through alternating stories of five people who sometimes come in contact with each other. Their names being Mac,Janey,J.Ward Woodhouse,Eleanor Studdad and Charley Anderson as each in their own way try's to make their way in ...more
|Does anyone know why Dos Passos titled it 42nd Parallel?||4||21||Jan 30, 2014 05:39AM|
He received a first-class education at The Choate School, in Connecticut, in 1907, under the name John Roderigo Madison. Later, he traveled with his tutor on a tour through France, England, Italy, Greece and the Middle East to study classical art, architecture and literature.
In 1912 he attended Harvard University and, after graduating in ...more
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he walked through the woods one winter
crunching through the shinycrusted snow
stumbling into a little dell where a warm spring was
and found the grass green and weeds sprouting
and skunk cabbage pushing up a potent thumb,
He went home and sat by the stove and read Darwin
Struggle for Existence Origin of Species Natural
Selection that wasn't what they taught in church,
so Luther Burbank ceased to believe moved to Lunenburg,
found a seedball in a potato plant
sowed the seed and cashed in on Darwin’s Natural Selection
on Spencer and Huxley
with the Burbank potato.
Young man go west;
Luther Burbank went to Santa Rosa
full of his dream of green grass in winter ever-
blooming flowers ever-
bearing berries; Luther Burbank
could cash in on Natural Selection Luther Burbank
carried his apocalyptic dream of green grass in winter
and seedless berries and stoneless plums and thornless roses brambles cactus—
winters were bleak in that bleak
brick farmhouse in bleak Massachusetts—
out to sunny Santa Rosa;
and he was a sunny old man
where roses bloomed all year
America was hybrid
America could cash in on Natural Selection.
He was an infidel he believed in Darwin and Natural
Selection and the influence of the mighty dead
and a good firm shipper’s fruit
suitable for canning.
He was one of the grand old men until the churches
and the congregations
got wind that he was an infidel and believed
Luther Burbank had never a thought of evil,
selected improved hybrids for America
those sunny years in Santa Rosa.
But he brushed down a wasp’s nest that time;
he wouldn’t give up Darwin and Natural Selection
and they stung him and he died
They buried him under a cedartree.
His favorite photograph
was of a little tot
standing beside a bed of hybrid
everblooming double Shasta daisies
with never a thought of evil
And Mount Shasta
in the background, used to be a volcano
but they don’t have volcanos