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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - Study Guide John Dos Passos at Midcentury" (1961) Summary & Analysis

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Although admitting that he finds John Dos Passos's political drift from extreme left to extreme right in the period from the 1920s to the 1950s amusing, Vidal also avers in his essay on Dos Passos's novel Midcentury that he never liked his contemporary's work even in the earlier days. Dos Passos, unfortunately, belongs to the garrulous camp of American writers who are probably direct descendants of the Old Frontier where telling tall tales was both entertainment and boast. This line, however, led to what Vidal calls "demotic" writing, of which the Beat writer Jack Kerouac is the "purest contemporary example."

Midcentury purports to be about the American labor movement from the New Deal to the present. Somewhat chaotic in form, with Dos Passos's "patented device from USA" of intercutting...

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This section contains 363 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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