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Writing Los Angles, Los Angles writers - Essay Example

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Los Angeles, California has been referred to as the city of dreams. With such lofty characterizations, it’s no surprise that writers throughout the 20th century spent considerable time characterizing the city in a number of ways. …
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Writing Los Angles, Los Angles writers
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Download file to see previous pages Individuals such as Raymond Chandler, John Fante, wrote timeless novels about the city, while poets such as Lewis MacAdams revealed the city for its multi-cultural nature. This essay considers the collection of a handful of writers who have articulated Los Angeles and considers the various thematic concerns they have outlined in their work. Writer Carey Williams articulates Los Angeles, California in a number of unique ways. William’s perspective considers the nature of Los Angeles as a city of outsiders. Quoting Garet Garrett, she writes, “you have to begin with the singular fact that in a population of a million and a quarter, every other person you see has been there less than five years” (Williams). Williams characterizes Los Angeles as a sort of land of immigrants; while this had previously been the nature of the United States, it appears it has shifted to regional areas, in this instance LA. However, rather than being out outcast or newcomer in this land, Williams argues that Los Angeles retains the feeling of home for these individuals. This is because that with the large influx of newcomers, individuals are able to find a unique sense of acceptance within this immigrant population. In addition to being one of the foremost crime novelists of the 20th century, Raymond Chandler is also recognized as one of the greatest writers of Los Angeles. In articulating Los Angeles it’s clear that Chandler assumes a sort of outsider status. Rather than romanticizing the various daily on-goings there is almost a sense of condescension in his tone. For instance, he writes “an evening with the sports page, the blatting of the radio, the whining of their spoiled children and the gabble of their silly wives” (Chandler). It’s clear that rather than romanticizing the movie star nature of Los Angeles, Chandler is attempting to present it in a more gritty light, with a self-conscious flavor. In other instances, Chandler attempts to depict the behind the scenes reality of the city, demonstrating producers that speak of the nature of the movie business in cynical terms. In all its an engaging portrait of the city that eschews romanticized notions of celebrity parties and Hollywood for a grittier and realistic edge. Whereas Raymond Chandler depicts a Los Angeles of gritty realism, Dorothy Parker’s poetry presents a more idealized version of the city. One of her poems functions as a sort of siren’s call, almost mythologizing the quest of individuals who move to the city with hopes of breaking into the movie industry. In these regards, she writes, “Come, curb the new and watch the old win/ Out where the streets are paved with Goldwyn…” (Parker). In Parker’s poetry there is the exploration of the artistic and romantic elements of Los Angeles. A city of movie stars and the rich and famous that exist in this city, these are the images Parker’s poetry is replete with. One also considers the nature Carey William’s writing in relation to Parker’s; in both instances Los Angeles is not presented as a city, but instead a destination, to which there is an ever influx of individuals seeking their dreams. Henry Miller is famous for his literary exploration of controversial themes and of artistic boundaries. When considering his articulation of Los Angeles, however, one is drawn to his concern with a singular individual. Rather than presenting controversial topics, Miller’s articulation of the city falls somewhere between that of Chandler’s realism and Dorothy Parker’s idealism. In these regards, Miller considers the nature of the city as the home of show business through his concern with a singer. Miller writes, “Those same songs night after night – how can anyone do it and not go mad? And always with feeling, as if delivering ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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