The Neon Wilderness Writing Style & Techniques

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Algren follows in the classic tradition of earthy detail and setting highlighted by a kind of elegiac lyricism, unrelenting naturalism relieved only by pathos, humor, and a certain romantic extravagance.

As in the classic manner of Dreiser and Farrell, the urban setting is described in a manner which lends flatness and understatement. Technical details, perhaps the most noticeable in the lower-case titles that so annoyed Algren's conservative critics, underscore this. The urban jungle, here "the true jungle, the neon wilderness" of fourth-rate cabarets, is lent a jarring contemporary tone and universalized to include not only Milwaukee and New Orleans but the slums of Marseilles, Spain, and nameless southwestern cities. Ambiance comes not only from the subterranean life as it has existed for centuries, but also from the contemporary media — George Raft movies and newspaper crime reports.

The dialogue is replete with ethnic dialects and subculture jargon...

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This section contains 320 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Neon Wilderness Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Neon Wilderness from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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