Re: RARA-AVIS: Re proletarian novels & Steinbeck

From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 31 Mar 2003

If it helps, I was shocked by the ending of GRAPES OF WRATH (I was a teenager then). I didn't read that Dos Passos, but I did read, IIRC, THE USA TRILOGY long ago. Lots of desperation, urban unemployment, ordinary working stiffs in suits (like my husband said guys used to wear at the pool room).
    Would Horatio Algers be anti-proletarian novels?
    BTW, let me pass on a compliment I heard about Navy civilians and their writing. My father was complaining about some IRS instructions--the senior citizen deduction guidelines are tossed together in the same paragraphs with a slew of arcane trivia--and he said nobody working for the Navy could get away with such sloppy work.


Miker wrote:
>. . . . I'd really like to read THE
> GRAPES OF WRATH, but it's killing me to read Dos Passos's
> 42ND PARALLEL. The characters are interesting but nothing
> much is happening. The child in me demands action. The only
> thing that allowed me to continue was that he slacked off on
> the Marxist rhetoric after a while. I don't like that, and
> it has nothing to do with political preferences. I don't
> like Horatio Algers either.

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