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Imagining Los Angeles

Author: David M. Fine
Publisher: University of Nevada Press
ISBN: 9780874176032
Size: 20.73 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: 73.97 MB
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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.

The City In Literature

Author: Richard Lehan
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520920514
Size: 25.92 MB
Format: PDF
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This sweeping literary encounter with the Western idea of the city moves from the early novel in England to the apocalyptic cityscapes of Thomas Pynchon. Along the way, Richard Lehan gathers a rich entourage that includes Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, Emile Zola, Bram Stoker, Rider Haggard, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Raymond Chandler. The European city is read against the decline of feudalism and the rise of empire and totalitarianism; the American city against the phenomenon of the wilderness, the frontier, and the rise of the megalopolis and the decentered, discontinuous city that followed. Throughout this book, Lehan pursues a dialectic of order and disorder, of cities seeking to impose their presence on the surrounding chaos. Rooted in Enlightenment yearnings for reason, his journey goes from east to west, from Europe to America. In the United States, the movement is also westward and terminates in Los Angeles, a kind of land's end of the imagination, in Lehan's words. He charts a narrative continuum full of constructs that "represent" a cycle of hope and despair, of historical optimism and pessimism. Lehan presents sharply etched portrayals of the correlation between rationalism and capitalism; of the rise of the city, the decline of the landed estate, and the formation of the gothic; and of the emergence of the city and the appearance of other genres such as detective narrative and fantasy literature. He also mines disciplines such as urban studies, architecture, economics, and philosophy, uncovering material that makes his study a lively read not only for those interested in literature, but for anyone intrigued by the meanings and mysteries of urban life.

Writing Los Angeles

Author: David L. Ulin
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781931082273
Size: 74.96 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: 78.11 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

Many Californias

Author: Gerald W. Haslam
Publisher: University of Nevada Press
ISBN: 9780874173253
Size: 55.35 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.

A Companion To The Regional Literatures Of America

Author: Charles L. Crow
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470999071
Size: 53.18 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.

Mount Terminus

Author: David Grand
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374711658
Size: 51.62 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.