By David Cochran
B-movies, crime novels, technological know-how fiction- all of those types of mass media got here into their very own within the Fifties. brushed aside via critics as dehumanizing to either writer and viewers, those genres unflinchingly uncovered the depths of yank lifestyles at a time while it used to be no longer politically right to take action. David Cochran information 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 loose firm, and the sanctity of the suburban relations. Rod Serling's The Twilight quarter similar tales of sufferers of giant, 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 gifted Mr. Ripley featured an amoral con guy who infiltrated the privileged type and wreaked havoc as soon as there. All of those artists helped to set the level for the Sixties counterculture's problem to the status quo. In doing so, they blurred the traces among "high" and "low" paintings.
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Additional resources for America Noir: Underground Writers and Filmmakers of the Postwar Era
21 Such people could not accept the uncertainties and anxieties of living in a free society and were attracted to the rigidly structured unfreedom and sense of purpose offered by totalitarianism, whether of the left or right. ' "22 Paradoxically, though accepting this concept of pluralism, liberal intellectuals also argued that Americans were fundamentally unified. . 26 The bedrock principle of American society, according to Cold War intellectuals, was freedom. But influenced by the writings of Erich Fromm, they did not view this freedom as unambiguously liberating.
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. "I'm Being Ironic": Imperialism, Mass Culture, and the Fantastic World of Ray Bradbury 55 4. The Devil and Charles Beaumont 73 Part Three. Outside Looking In: Minority Artists 89 5. "So Much Nonsense Must Make Sense": The Black Vision of Chester Himes 91 6.
Worse yet, at the heart of it all, there is an implied lack of meaning. Unlike the settling of the West or the Second World War, the events transcribed by hardboiled fiction serve no particular purpose; they just happen. " 61 At a time when modernist art had been largely canonized and integrated into the dominant consensus, the underground culture kept alive the critical impetus of modernism. 62 But the worlds of Jim Thompson, Charles Willeford, Chester Himes, Patricia Highsmith, Samuel Fuller, and Richard Condon were filled with grotesque characters, products of a social order that twisted and perverted people physically and psychologically.
America Noir: Underground Writers and Filmmakers of the Postwar Era by David Cochran