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The Day of the Locust Essay & Criticism

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Critical Overview

When he died at thirty-seven, West left a relatively small body of work: four novels, a few essays, a play, and some movie scripts. Critics differ on whether West had just begun to reach an advanced level of writing with the publication of his last novel, The Day of the Locust, or whether this work indicated merely an average talent with little more to offer.

Algis Valiunas, writing in Commentary, weighs in on the side that has never been particularly impressed with West and his style of writing. In his review of the 1997 Modern Library collection of West's work, Novels and Other Writings, Valiunas notes that other critics have called The Day of the Locust the best novel ever written about Hollywood, but he wishes there were a better one to consider. West "wrote about emotional, moral, and spiritual coarseness, and, notwithstanding his considerable learning, style, and wit...

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This section contains 728 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Day of the Locust Study Guide
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The Day of the Locust from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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