By Ichiro Takayoshi
Ichiro Takayoshi's publication argues that international conflict II reworked American literary tradition. From the mid-1930s to the yank access into international conflict II in 1941, preeminent figures from Ernest Hemingway to Reinhold Neibuhr answered to the flip of the public's curiosity from the commercial melancholy at domestic to the risk of totalitarian structures in another country through generating novels, brief tales, performs, poems, and cultural feedback within which they prophesied the arriving of a moment global struggle and explored how the US may well arrange for it. the range of competing solutions provided a wealthy legacy of idioms, symbols, and traditional arguments that used to be destined to license America's advertising of its values and pursuits world wide for the remainder of the 20th century. formidable in scope and addressing an important variety of writers, thinkers, and artists, this booklet is the 1st to set up the outlines of yankee tradition in this pivotal interval.
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Additional info for American Writers and the Approach of World War II, 1935-1941: A Literary History
It was always wise to establish yourself as an American. ”31 Less complicated correspondents like Dorothy Thompson would have blurted out that “Americans should not travel all the time, blindly and cheerfully,” and that it is not “wise” but cowardly to shield oneself behind one’s American passport. But Mary cannot say what she means, or cannot think what she wants to think, because she cannot stand the idea that her sincere thoughts change nothing about America’s relation to a stricken ﬁeld that was Europe.
In war, the nation would be mobilized to achieve a simple and popular goal: defeat of the enemy. The writers’ task would be straightforward: to rationalize this crude military objective in idealized terms. In peace, by sharp contrast, there would be no consensus, due to class antagonism and racism, on the goals and means of democratic reform at home, which would force liberal writers to be more inventive. In 1917, Bourne concluded, American intellectuals told themselves that war was inevitable and necessary because they were mentally lazy.
If a small nation in a mountainous region does not surrender by sunrise, the aggressor nation vows to launch massive air strikes. The announcer’s mesmeric voice not only eases the listeners into a particular mental state, the apprehension of air strikes; it also binds the radio listeners to the announcer. His voice ﬂows into the listeners’ most private space, their mind. He speaks now and the listeners hear now. This shared “now” creates the illusion of proximity, or even immediacy, despite the physical distance that separates the studio from millions of drawing rooms.
American Writers and the Approach of World War II, 1935-1941: A Literary History by Ichiro Takayoshi