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Imagining Los Angeles

Author: David M. Fine
Publisher: University of Nevada Press
ISBN: 9780874176032
Size: 43.66 MB
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The literary image of Los Angeles has evolved since the 1880s from promotional literature that hyped the region as a New Eden to contemporary visions of the city as a perplexing, sometimes corrupt, even apocalyptic place that reflects all that is wrong with America. In"Imagining Los Angeles," the first literary history of the city in more than fifty years, critic David Fine traces the history and mood of the place through the work of writers as diverse as Helen Hunt Jackson, Mary Austin, Norman Mailer, Raymond Chandler, Joan Didion, Carolyn See, and many others. His lively and engaging text focuses on the way these writers saw Los Angeles and used the image of the city as an element in their work, and on how that image has changed as the city itself became ever larger, more complex, and more socially and ethnically diverse. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the literature and changing image of Southern California."

Ecology Of Fear

Author: Mike Davis
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 146686284X
Size: 73.41 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Los Angeles has become a magnet for the American apocalyptic imagination. Riot, fire, flood, earthquake...only locusts are missing from the almost biblical list of disasters that have struck the city in the 1990s. From Ventura to Laguna, more than one million Southern Californians have been directly touched by disaster-related death, injury, or damage to their homes and businesses. Middle-class apprehensions about angry underclasses are exceeded only by anxieties about blind thrust faults underlying downtown L.A. or about the firestorms that periodically incinerate Malibu. And the force of real catastrophe has been redoubled by the obsessive fictional destruction of Los Angeles--by aliens, comets, and twisters--in scores of novels and films. The former "Land of Sunshine" is now seen by much of the world, including many of L.A.'s increasingly nervous residents, as a veritable Book of the Apocalypse theme park. In this extraordinary book, Mike Davis, the author of City of Quartz and our most fascinating interpreter of the American metropolis, unravels the secret political history of disaster, real and imaginary, in Southern California. As he surveys the earthquakes of Santa Monica, the burning of Koreatown, the invasion of "man-eating" mountain lions, the movie Volcano, and even Los Angeles's underrated tornado problem, he exposes the deep complicity between social injustice and perceptions of natural disorder. Arguing that paranoia about nature obscures the fact that Los Angeles has deliberately put itself in harm's way, Davis reveals how market-driven urbanization has for generations transgressed against environmental common sense. And he shows that the floods, fires, and earthquakes reaped by the city were tragedies as avoidable--and unnatural--as the beating of Rodney King and the ensuing explosion in the streets. Rich with detail, bold and original, Ecology of Fear is a gripping reconnaissance into the urban future, an essential portrait of America at the millennium.

Many Californias

Author: Gerald W. Haslam
Publisher: University of Nevada Press
ISBN: 9780874173253
Size: 28.54 MB
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Haslam divides the state into five regions, selecting prose and poetry from each that reflects their history, terrain, and culture. Many Califonias features sixty-seven authors ranging from Jack London to Maxine Hong Kingston, making it the most diverse general-interest anthology available.

Writing Los Angeles

Author: David L. Ulin
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781931082273
Size: 80.17 MB
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Collects short fictional works and excerpts, poetry, essays, journalism, and diary entries on the City of Light as contributed by top authors, in a volume that considers such topics as the city's history, culture, police force, ecosystems, and architecture. 20,000 first printing.

The Cambridge Companion To The Literature Of Los Angeles

Author: Kevin R. McNamara
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139825402
Size: 68.45 MB
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Los Angeles has a tantalizing hold on the American imagination. Its self-magnifying myths encompass Hollywood glamour, Arcadian landscapes, and endless summer, but also the apocalyptic undertow of riots, environmental depredation, and natural disaster. This Companion traces the evolution of Los Angeles as the most public staging of the American Dream - and American nightmares. The expert contributors make exciting, innovative connections among the authors and texts inspired by the city, covering the early Spanish settlers, African American writers, the British and German expatriates of the 1930s and 1940s, Latino, and Asian LA literature. The genres discussed include crime novels, science fiction, Hollywood novels, literary responses to urban rebellion, the poetry scene, nature writing, and the most influential non-fiction accounts of the region. Diverse, vibrant, and challenging as the city itself, this Companion is the definitive guide to LA in literature.

A Companion To The Regional Literatures Of America

Author: Charles L. Crow
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470999071
Size: 34.69 MB
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The Blackwell Companion to American Regional Literature is the most comprehensive resource yet published for study of this popular field. The most inclusive survey yet published of American regional literature. Represents a wide variety of theoretical and historical approaches. Surveys the literature of specific regions from California to New England and from Alaska to Hawaii. Discusses authors and groups who have been important in defining regional American literature.

The Mirage Factory

Author: Gary Krist
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 045149640X
Size: 10.28 MB
Format: PDF
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From bestselling author Gary Krist, the story of the metropolis that never should have been and the visionaries who dreamed it into reality Little more than a century ago, the southern coast of California—bone-dry, harbor-less, isolated by deserts and mountain ranges—seemed destined to remain scrappy farmland. Then, as if overnight, one of the world’s iconic cities emerged. At the heart of Los Angeles’ meteoric rise were three flawed visionaries: William Mulholland, an immigrant ditch-digger turned self-taught engineer, designed the massive aqueduct that would make urban life here possible. D.W. Griffith, who transformed the motion picture from a vaudeville-house novelty into a cornerstone of American culture, gave L.A. its signature industry. And Aimee Semple McPherson, a charismatic evangelist who founded a religion, cemented the city’s identity as a center for spiritual exploration. All were masters of their craft, but also illusionists, of a kind. The images they conjured up—of a blossoming city in the desert, of a factory of celluloid dreamworks, of a community of seekers finding personal salvation under the California sun—were like mirages liable to evaporate on closer inspection. All three would pay a steep price to realize these dreams, in a crescendo of hubris, scandal, and catastrophic failure of design that threatened to topple each of their personal empires. Yet when the dust settled, the mirage that was LA remained. Spanning the years from 1900 to 1930, The Mirage Factory is the enthralling tale of an improbable city and the people who willed it into existence by pushing the limits of human engineering and imagination.

Mount Terminus

Author: David Grand
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374711658
Size: 47.16 MB
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David Grand's Mount Terminus is a dark, majestic novel about art, family, overwhelming love, and the birth of Los Angeles After his mother's death, young Bloom boards a train with his bereaved father, Jacob, to travel west across mountains and deserts to California: Mount Terminus, their new home at the desolate end of the world. There, in a villa built atop a rare desert spring, they live apart from society, supported by the income from Jacob's invention, the Rosenbloom Loop, a piece of technology that has revolutionized the nascent art of filmmaking. There, Bloom grows up in the shadow of his father's grief, with only a pair of servants, the house's ghosts, and his own artistic muse for company. But Jacob can't forever protect his family from his past—the dramatic series of events that has taken him from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum on New York City's Lower East Side and into the graces of beautiful twin girls, and finally to this fragile refuge in pre-Hollywood Los Angeles. And Bloom, now an eccentric dark genius, can't live alone at the top of the mountain forever. Prodded by his newly discovered half brother, in every way his opposite, Bloom will have to come down to meet the world. Otherwise the orange farmers and the vaqueros, the speculators and the developers, the artists and the barons of the silver screen, will surely come up the mountain to meet him. Triumphant and enthralling, Mount Terminus marks a magnificent return for David Grand; it's the novel he was born to write.

The Day Of The Locust

Author: Nathanael West
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
ISBN: 0811224627
Size: 21.20 MB
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The great Hollywood novel is now available as a stand-alone New Directions edition Admired by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, and Dashiell Hammett, and hailed as one of the “Best 100 English-language novels” by Time magazine, The Day of the Locust continues to influence American writers, artists, and culture. Bob Dylan wrote the classic song “Day of the Locusts” in homage and Matt Groening’s Homer Simpson is named after one of its characters. No novel more perfectly captures the nuttier side of Hollywood. Here the lens is turned on its fringes — actors out of work, film extras with big dreams, and parents lining their children up for small roles. But it’s the bit actress Faye Greener who steals the spotlight with her wildly convoluted dreams of stardom: “I’m going to be a star some day—if I’m not I’ll commit suicide.”