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Topic: Nathanael West

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In the News (Fri 24 May 19)

  Nathanael West - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nathanael West was born in New York City, the first child of German-speaking Russian Jewish parents from Lithuania who maintained an upper-middle class household in a Jewish neighborhood on the Upper West Side.
West's classmates at Brown nicknamed him "Pep": it is not known whether this indicated a great deal of physical energy on West's part, or (in the sarcastic tradition of many nicknames) the precise opposite.
Though West was still a relative unknown at the time, his reputation grew after his death, especially with the publication of his collected novels in 1957.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Nathanael_West   (895 words)

 Nathaniel West   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
West's tight style, however, is surprisingly well-suited to a short opus: his strength is in the vivid phrase, and there are examples of ingenious phrase-making in almost all of the newly collected material (including that college essay).
West's devotion to exaggerated normality led him naturally to humor, satire, and the grotesque, but his sensibility also admitted an uncommonly generous sympathy for the weak, particularly the sick and the pretentious.
West does not emphasize what he once called "the vicious, mean, ugly, obscene, and insane" at the expense of gentler feelings, however; his method is to exaggerate sincerity, maximizing its effect.
www.bostonphoenix.com /archive/books/97/08/07/NATHANIEL_WEST.html   (911 words)

 The Grotesque Landscape in Nathanael West
West’s bleak vision of Pinyon Canyon reveals a grotesque collage of disjointed, displaced architectural styles that deplete the humanity of the residents, as nature becomes an ominous and ugly shadow of itself.
West further accents the disparity between nature and man’s corrupting influence by contrasting the lizard in its natural surroundings with the creature among the waste products of man. The narrator notes, "Its coloring matched the cactus perfectly, but when it moved over to the cans where the flies were thick, it stood out plainly" (89).
West trains the narrator’s focus on the man-made set contrasted against the mostly barren field, and all the sets through which Tod has passed, and the dreams and hopes of the populace implicit in each setting, are dumped onto the ground by a ten-ton truck, into a graveyard of the imagination.
summarjd.home.mindspring.com /bio/west.htm   (2126 words)

 The Day of the Locust
West's book had been surreal, and the characters in it literary concepts rather than people, but the filmmaking team kept that kind of aloofness to a minimum, perhaps knowing full well that surrealism is instant box office death.
West was explicit about explaining that the movie world, that California in general for that matter, was creating a seething sea of discontent by luring people in search of their dreams, and then crushing those dreams.
West viewed the sum total of that disillusionment as a festering malaise which might turn at any moment to rage, and eventually does shape itself into a riot, some kind of frenzied Gotterdammerung where the common people rise up against the movie moguls, the pretense, and the city itself, eventually tearing it all down.
www.scoopy.com /dayofthelocust.htm   (2112 words)

West died tragically, with his wife Eileen, when the station wagon he was driving collided on a Sunday afternoon with another vehicle at the intersection of Highway 80 and the Central Valley Highway near El Centro, California.
West's insecurity about his baseball prowess was reinforced by the fact that his cousins, who attended the same camp, were excellent athletes and they frequently won all the major athletic awards.
Despite the fact that in real life West and [Pisces Field Manager] Henry Miller bored each other, and despite the fact that in reality West was an outfielder when he played baseball as a boy, the Pisces believe West will be one of their super star starting pitchers for the 1998 season.
www.cosmicbaseball.com /nwest8.html   (1208 words)

West did not take his studies seriously - he borrowed his cousin's work and presented it as his own and failed a crucial course in modern drama.
West was killed in an automobile accident on December 22, near El Centro, California, with his wife Eileen McKenney.
West was recently married, with better-paid script work coming in, and returning from a trip to Mexico.
www.biblion.com /litweb/biogs/west_nathanael.html   (1558 words)

 Nathanael West Literary Traveler
West's life and legacy have continued to weave with a thread of bitter irony.
West's central characters are the key to this: starlets, aged vaudeville clowns, cowboys, child actors, and quiet straightmen, they present a veritable listing of 1930s Hollywood clichés.
West defines the city as a "dream dump," a "sargasso," an endless studio backlot strewn with movieland flotsam and false edifice.
www.literarytraveler.com /spring/west/nwest.htm   (1712 words)

 The Hipness Is All - Nathanael West revisited. By Paul Berman
West wrote only four novels before dying in an auto crash at the age of 37, in 1940.
Perhaps there was something Jewish in the style--though West, who went to the trouble of changing his name from Weinstein (which in those days was a good idea from a career perspective, even in Hollywood, where he wrote his screenplays), might not have appreciated the ethnic emphasis.
West's hero loses his thumb, his teeth, his leg, his scalp, and his nose; and the creepier his sufferings become, the funnier is the book, sad to say.
www.slate.com /id/3007   (950 words)

 SparkNotes: The Day of the Locust: Context
Nathanael West was born Nathan Wallenstein Weinstein in New York City in October 1903.
West was the first child of Russian Jewish parents who maintained an upper-middle class household in a Jewish neighborhood on the Upper West Side.
West returned home and worked sporadically in construction for his father, eventually finding a job as the night manager of a small hotel in New York City.
www.sparknotes.com /lit/locust/context.html   (683 words)

 Correspondences - News By the People For People: Nathanael West's centennial
Here West depicts the Southern Californian as a loitering loser who hangs around the afterglow of Hollywood’s famous few and "had come to California to die." West likens the inhabitant of the southland as a participant in a masquerade and there are few among us now that would doubt things have changed.
West's film writing was confined to movies few have seen or want to see, and he remains uncelebrated in Hollywood.
West's novels are a raging punch in the soft gut of our unresolved attitudes concerning our lifestyles in 2003, and reading him decades later can still knock the wind out of us and make us pine for a clean polluted breath.
www.correspondences.org /archives/000359.html   (593 words)

 Style: American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of Representation in the 1930s. - Review - book reviews
West's four short novels, all published in the decade preceding his death in 1940, earned praise from such influential figures as Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams, but they went largely unread in his lifetime.
The current revival of West is a function of the recent trend toward sociopolitical approaches to literature and cultural studies, and Veitch's book is also a manifestation of this trend.
In an analysis of West's first novel, The Dream Life of Balso Snell, Veitch describes the materialist aesthetic which lies behind West's superrealism, an aesthetic which collapses the distinction between "high" and "low" culture as it refuses to posit any sort of "authentic" or "authoritative" position beyond discourse.
www.findarticles.com /p/articles/mi_m2342/is_1_33/ai_58055910   (1169 words)

 Kevin Lewis:Nathanael West and American Apocalyptic
In any case, the neglected Nathanael West is to be counted as a dark, dark transmitter of apocalyptic prophecy, and especially in this novel which offers no comfort whatsoever to its characters or to its readers.
Carefully, West crafts the fictional realization of his apocalyptic vision around this reworking of the biblical vision of terminal locust plague, sketching- in details of deformity, monstrosity, and corruption as signs of irreversible de-cline toward a crash.
West's apocalypse, and Schlesinger's interpretation of it for the most part, invites the second of two traditional strategies of inter-preting apocalyptic vision, as much as it invites the first.
people.cas.sc.edu /lewiske/west.html   (2919 words)

 Nathanael West   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Nathanael West was born in New York, N.Y. as the son of immigrant German Jews from Lithuania.
West did not take his studies seriously - he borrowed his cousin's work and presented it as his own and failed a crucial course in modern drama.In 1924 West graduated with a Ph.B. degree and changed his name legally to Nathanael West.
In the early 1930s West worked as a journalist and was involved with a pair of literay magazines.
www.ndpublishing.com /BIOs/NwestBIO.htm   (819 words)

 AllRefer.com - Nathanael West (American Literature, Biography) - Encyclopedia
Nathanael West 1903–40, American novelist, whose real name was Nathan Weinstein, b.
An innovative, highly original author, West revealed the sterility and grotesqueness underlying the American dream; his vision has profoundly influenced subsequent writers.
West was never a commercial success in his own time, but his popularity rose after his premature death at 37 in an automobile accident.
reference.allrefer.com /encyclopedia/W/West-Nat.html   (317 words)

 Library of America: Nathanael West: Novels and Other Writings
West continued to work on the novel and in 1932 published five chapters from it in two magazines; these chapters all appeared in revised form in the completed book.
West undertook a further series of revisions before the novel was typeset, then made a few alterations while reading proofs early in 1939.
West and Ingster continued their collaboration and in September 1940 wrote an original screen story together, using "A Cool Million" as their title in the hope that a studio would pay more for a story ostensibly based on a published book.
www.loa.org /volume.jsp?RequestID=4§ion=notes   (2470 words)

 Nathanael West was a great American writer who died in 1940
Nathanael West was a great American writer of the 1930's.
West is mature reading which reflects the existential questions posed by his generation.
West was a 1924 graduate of Brown University.
www.geocities.com /nathanael_west2001   (290 words)

 Nathanael West pointed us to dark side of American dream
In the middle and rear ranks of respected American authors are several who produced a small body of mostly short works that were strong enough to establish a lasting reputation -- Sarah Orne Jewett and her "The Country of the Pointed Firs," for one.
The judgment is probably accurate, though I always have preferred "Miss Lonelyhearts." It expresses West's basic theme -- the loneliness and hopelessness of the individual in a brutally uncaring society -- through the story of a writer of an advice-to-the-lovelorn newspaper column.
West was also a highly skilled precursor of fl comedy.
www.post-gazette.com /books/reviews/20031109natwest1109fnp4.asp   (723 words)

 UW Press - : American Superrealism
Nathanael West has been hailed as "an apocalyptic writer," "a writer on the left," and "a precursor to postmodernism." But until now no critic has succeeded in fully engaging West's distinctive method of negation.
Locating West in a lively, American avant-garde tradition that stretches from Marcel Duchamp to Andy Warhol, Veitch explores the possibilities and limitations of dada and surrealism—the use of readymades, scatalogical humor, human machines, "exquisite corpses"—as modes of social criticism.
Veitch considers the crucial decade of the 1930s in light of the work of Nathanael West; the result is a sweeping revision, not only of West's achievement but of the broad social, aesthetic, and intellectual movements that shaped modern America.
www.wisc.edu /wisconsinpress/books/0190.htm   (343 words)

 Nathanael WEST - Vikipedio
Literaturo > Anglalingva Literaturo > Nathanael WEST < Angla Lingvo
Nathanael WEST, origine: Nathan Wallenstein WEINSTEIN (naskgixis la 17-an de oktobro, 1903, mortis la 22-an de decembro, 1940) estis usona verkisto.
Naskiĝinte en Novjorko, la filo de judaj enmigrintoj el Litovio studis en la universitatoj Tufts kaj Brown.
eo.wikipedia.org /wiki/Nathanael_WEST   (140 words)

 Miss Lonleyhearts, Constant Reader Discussion
West does other interesting things with names, too: Betty and ML travel through New Haven and go to Monkstown on their quest for spiritual cleansing through a return to nature.
West is certainly not the first to have thought Ivan's rebellion against God, his refusal to accept the world as God made it, made a more compelling argument than Zosima and Alyosha's message of active love--I've heard that Dostoevsky himself worried he wasn't successful in refuting Ivan's case.
West would never portray a human ascension in terms of withdrawal or in terms of the buffered coldness of stone and mean it as anything but a terrifying commentary on how much battering a human can take before he becomes inhuman...
www.constantreader.com /discussions/misslonelyhearts.htm   (19614 words)

 Amazon.com: The Day of the Locust (Signet Classic): Books: Nathanael West   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Nathanael West's novella The Day of the Locust is a work with an essential flaw.
Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust needs to reach new and dazzling literary heights to make itself stand out from novels similar to it.
Secondly, West does not develop his original theme, which has the potential to be of outstanding interest to the audience.
www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0451523482?v=glance   (2438 words)

 Commentary Magazine - Novels and Other Writings by Nathanael West   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
At the time of his death in a car wreck in 1940, Nathanael West was thirty-seven years old and had written four short novels, a play, and a number of movie scripts.
...West's reputation has grown ever since, and it was inevitable that he should be marked with the sign of supreme native literary achievement and accorded a place in the Library of America...
...West's description of what it is like to be engulfed by that mob is harrowinglv brilliant, but his [65] A, ICOMMENTARY NOVEMBER 997 account of what animates it is notably wanting...
www.commentarymagazine.com /Summaries/V104I5P66-1.htm   (1467 words)

West was born in 1903 in New York City, New York to Max and Anna (Wallenstein) Weinstein.
West showed no ambition as a young man. While attending Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island West did not take his studies seriously.
West, from living and working in Hollywood, realized that its romantic glamour was artificial and its dirty secrets became a reality.
www.ncteamericancollection.org /litmap/west_nathanael_ca.htm   (933 words)

 Amazon.com: Nathanael West : Novels and Other Writings : The Dream Life of Balso Snell / Miss Lonelyhearts / A Cool ...   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Little known during his lifetime, Nathanael West is today considered one of the 20th Century's most influential authors, a writer whose pitch-fl satires focus on the emptiness of an American society choking on its own regurgitated mythology.
West's life was cut short by an automobile accident just as he seemed to be finding his true voice, and it is interesting to speculate on how his writing might have developed if he had lived to write more.
West departs from Alger in that Pitkin is cheated and mutilated by all of his encounters with the rest of humanity.
www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1883011280?v=glance   (3058 words)

 Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television: American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of ...   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
In American Superrealism, Veitch examines the anarchic and nihilistic visions of Nathanael West in a quest to explore surrealism as an alternative mode of social criticism, present a contemporary interpretation of the 1930s and contemplate the complicated significance of American mass culture of that era.
Although West once angrily denied that he was a surrealist, Veitch associates the writer with American superrealism, a brief cultural movement in the early 1930s embodying American authors and artists who experimented with the possibilities of applying the theories of European surrealism to their work.
Ironically, West's fiction, which incorporates elements of surrealist techniques, such as the scatological pun, deadpan parody, 'inversion' of social codes and substitution of the inanimate for the animate, supports Veitch's position.
www.findarticles.com /p/articles/mi_m2584/is_4_18/ai_53747548   (1023 words)

 Var of Satire   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
That is that West’s art itself is being distorted by the pretentiousness with which it is being treated by some of his admirers.
West’s advice to surrealists who believe such foolishness—or to anyone deluded by the pretensions of art, religion, or thought—is implied in his creature John Raskolnikov Gilson, who tries to retain his hold on reality by writing in his Journal "while smelling the moistened forefinger of my left hand" (p.
Throughout his art West mocked this folly by satirizing, in a variety of forms, the dreams of man, but since he also comprehended that to live without dreams was worse than to exist with no dreams at all, he had no answer to this dilemma, and his art expresses none.
www.compedit.com /var_of_satire.htm   (5519 words)

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