Politics and the Novel during the Cold War

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9781412811613: Politics and the Novel during the Cold War
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David Cautes wide-ranging study examines how outstanding novelists of the Cold War era conveyed the major issues of contemporary politics and history. In the United States and Western Europe the political novel flourished in the 1930s and 1940s, the crisis years of economic depression, fascism, the Spanish Civil War,the consolidation of Stalinism, and the Second World War.

Starting with the high hopes generated by the Spanish Civil War, Caute then explores the god that failed pessimism that overtook the Western political novel in the 1940s. The writers under scrutiny include Hemingway, Dos Passos, Orwell, Koestler, Malraux, Serge, Greene, de Beauvoir, and Sartre. Strikingly different approaches to the burning issues of the time are found among orthodox Soviet novelists such as Sholokhov, Fadeyev, Kochetov, and Pavlenko. Soviet official culture continued to choke on modernism, formalism, satire, and allegory.

In Russia and Eastern Europe dissident novelists offered contesting voices as they engaged in the fraught re-telling of life under Stalinism. The emergence of the New Left in the 1960s generated a new wave of fiction challenging Americas global stance. Mailer, Doctorow, and Coover brought fresh literary sensibilities tobear on such iconic events as the 1967 siege of the Pentagon and the execution of the Rosenbergs.

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About the Author:

David Caute is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Henry Fellow at Harvard. A visiting professor at Columbia, NYU and University of California, Irvine, his most recent work is The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy During the Cold War

 

Review:

“Agreeing with Irving Howe's contention that the political novel flourishes in times of civil turmoil, the prolific Caute sweeps through the work of 30-plus authors who reflected the Cold War experience from the Spanish Civil War to the late 1970s... The book's strength is its reach beyond Western European writing (Jean-Paul Sartre, Franz Kafka, Uwe Johnson, and others) to Soviet writing (in addition to Solzhenitsyn, Victor Serge, Vasily Grossman, Boris Pasternak, Lydia Chukovskaya, et al.), thus exposing Anglo-American readers to Soviet writing... Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers.”

B. Diemert, Choice

"As the memory of the horrors of Stalinism fades with the disappearance of those that lived through it, it will be the novels that were generated by the Cold War that will shape historical understanding. David Caute's new book will fascinate and inform readers, providing them with the context and insights they need to make sense of this important genre of literature."

—Harvey Klehr



“Caute’s new book is the most authoritative study to date of politics and literature during the Cold War and one of the wisest and witties books of cultural criticism to appear for many years.”

John Gray, Literary Review



“[A]n exhaustive analysis of Cold War fiction is created, read, and criticized in the context of the last century’s most rhetorical of conflicts.”

—Olga Voronina, The Russian Review

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Book Description Taylor & Francis Inc, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. David Cautes wide-ranging study examines how outstanding novelists of the Cold War era conveyed the major issues of contemporary politics and history. In the United States and Western Europe the political novel flourished in the 1930s and 1940s, the crisis years of economic depression, fascism, the Spanish Civil War,the consolidation of Stalinism, and the Second World War.Starting with the high hopes generated by the Spanish Civil War, Caute then explores the god that failed pessimism that overtook the Western political novel in the 1940s. The writers under scrutiny include Hemingway, Dos Passos, Orwell, Koestler, Malraux, Serge, Greene, de Beauvoir, and Sartre. Strikingly different approaches to the burning issues of the time are found among orthodox Soviet novelists such as Sholokhov, Fadeyev, Kochetov, and Pavlenko. Soviet official culture continued to choke on modernism, formalism, satire, and allegory.In Russia and Eastern Europe dissident novelists offered contesting voices as they engaged in the fraught re-telling of life under Stalinism. The emergence of the New Left in the 1960s generated a new wave of fiction challenging Americas global stance. Mailer, Doctorow, and Coover brought fresh literary sensibilities tobear on such iconic events as the 1967 siege of the Pentagon and the execution of the Rosenbergs. Seller Inventory # BTE9781412811613

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