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By Ronald Berman

Either F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway got here into their very own within the Nineteen Twenties and did a few of their most sensible writing in the course of that decade. In a chain of interrelated essays, Ronald Berman considers an array of novels and brief tales by means of either authors in the context of the decade's pop culture, philosophy and highbrow background. As Berman indicates, the idea of Fitzgerald and Hemingway went significantly earlier the boundaries of such labels because the Jazz Age or the misplaced iteration. either Fitzgerald and Hemingway have been avid readers, alive to the highbrow currents in their day, specially the contradictions and clashes of rules and ideologies. either writers, for instance, have been a great deal keen on the matter of untenable trust - and likewise with the necessity to think. during this gentle, Berman bargains clean readings of such works as Fitzgerald's "The nice Gatsby", "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" and "The Diamond as large because the Ritz", and Hemingway's "The Killers", "A Farewell to Arms" and "The solar additionally Rises". Berman invokes the deliberating quite a lot of writers in his issues of those texts, together with William James, Alfred North Whitehead, Walter Lippman and Edmund Wilson. Berman's essays are pushed and hooked up by means of a centred line of inquiry into Fitzgerald's and Hemingway's matters with dogma either spiritual and secular, with new and previous rules of selfhood, and, rather on the subject of Hemingway, with the way in which we comprehend, clarify and transmit adventure.

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1 Wilson was willing to believe that behind these acts of literary hostility was the desire to improve the cultural scene. But he thought that, in spite of everything, things might get worse. ”2 The moral and stylistic problems of wealth might well be insoluble. Later, in a New Republic essay (March 15, 1922) Wilson wrote about the dif¤culty of believing that technology could affect our cultural life. The central problem was the renewal of a nation dominated by 40 “ THE DIAMOND” AND THE DECLINING WEST 41 the mindless rich.

Wilson did not believe that would happen because money and its pursuit dominated Americans: the cities were ugly and the countryside barren. Unlike Europe, there was little respect for ideas. ” Throughout the essay, a wrecked landscape has wider implications: “America, as everyone knows, is not especially beautiful or free. We live and build without taste; our towns are like rubbish-heaps; we abjectly suffer to be sti®ed; we have not even our original rights; we are a people all alike, uniformly mediocre.


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