By David Cochran
B-movies, crime novels, technological know-how fiction- all of those sorts of mass media got here into their very own within the Fifties. brushed off by way of critics as dehumanizing to either writer and viewers, those genres unflinchingly uncovered the depths of yank existence at a time while it used to be now not politically right to take action. David Cochran info how, on the peak of the chilly warfare, ten writers and filmmakers challenged such social pieties because the superiority of American democracy, the benevolence of unfastened company, and the sanctity of the suburban kin. Rod Serling's The Twilight area comparable tales of sufferers of massive, faceless bureaucratic powers. Jim Thompson's The Grifters portrayed the ravages of capitalism on these on the backside of the social ladder. Patricia Highsmith's The proficient Mr. Ripley featured an amoral con guy who infiltrated the privileged category and wreaked havoc as soon as there. All of those artists helped to set the degree for the Sixties counterculture's problem to the status quo. In doing so, they blurred the strains among "high" and "low" artwork.
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Extra resources for America Noir: Underground Writers and Filmmakers of the Postwar Era
Cm. ). Title. 48-1984. is, as it were, another self. Cicero Page vii CONTENTS Acknowledgments xi Preface: Mapping the Underground Culture xi Introduction: Within the Shell of the Old: The Creation of the Cold War Consensus and the Emergence of the Underground Culture 1 Part One. The Killer Inside Me: Roman Noir Authors 17 1. Slipping Deeper into Hell: Jim Thompson's Theology of Absurdity 19 2. "It's Always for Nothing": The Paperback Worldview of Charles Willeford 39 Part Two. Progress and Its Discontents: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors 53 3.
2 It is doubtful how much good the hotel life did for Thompson, because during his career as a bellboy he developed a serious drinking problem that plagued him for the rest of his life. But he viewed his experiences in the hotel as a microcosm of his vision of the universe. In an apocryphal story that concludes the first volume of his fictionalized autobiography, Bad Boy (1953), Thompson claimed that while working in a Fort Worth hotel, a bootlegging scheme in which he was involved went awry, and he had to flee town with his mother and sister, just ahead of federal agents and gangsters.
There is only one way to quarantine kitsch," Harold Rosenberg commented. "40 The problem of containment, however, was complicated. As both Macdonald and Greenberg pointed out, the space between high culture and masscult was not empty, but occupied by a broad, amorphous middlebrow culture (or "midcult," as Macdonald labeled it) that had, in terms of social power, become the dominant culture. This middlebrow culture, as Greenberg said, "is denned roughly by the fact that, though its audience shrinks from the trials of highbrow culture, it nonetheless refuses to let its culture be simply a matter of entertainment and diversion on the lowbrow order.
America Noir: Underground Writers and Filmmakers of the Postwar Era by David Cochran