David Cautes wide-ranging study examines how outstanding novelists of the Cold War era conveyed the major issues of contemporary politics and history. In the United States and Western Europe the political novel flourished in the 1930s and 1940s, the crisis years of economic depression, fascism, the Spanish Civil War, the consolidation of Stalinism, and the Second World War.
Starting with the high hopes generated by the Spanish Civil War, Caute then explores the god that failed pessimism that overtook the Western political novel in the 1940s. The writers under scrutiny include Hemingway, Dos Passos, Orwell, Koestler, Malraux, Serge, Greene, de Beauvoir, and Sartre. Strikingly different approaches to the burning issues of the time are found among orthodox Soviet novelists such as Sholokhov, Fadeyev, Kochetov, and Pavlenko. Soviet official culture continued to choke on modernism, formalism, satire, and allegory.
In Russia and Eastern Europe dissident novelists offered contesting voices as they engaged in the fraught re-telling of life under Stalinism. The emergence of the New Left in the 1960s generated a new wave of fiction challenging Americas global stance. Mailer, Doctorow, and Coover brought fresh literary sensibilities to bear on such iconic events as the 1967 siege of the Pentagon and the execution of the Rosenbergs.
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About the Author
David Caute is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Henry Fellow at Harvard. A visiting professor at Columbia, NYU and University of California, Irvine, his most recent work is The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy During the Cold War.
Table of Contents
IntroductionPart 1: The Spanish Civil War1. Commentary: The Spanish Labyrinth2. Malraux: Days of Hope3. Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls4. Dos Passos: Betrayal5. Orwell: Homage to Catalonia6. Koestler: Sentence of DeathPart 2: The God That Failed7. Commentary: The Soviet Trials8. Beyond Darkness at Noon9. Serge: The Case of Comrade Tulayev10. Orwell: From Big Pig to Big Brother11. Commentary: Totalitarianism, Ideology, Power12. Sartre: History, Fiction and the Party13. Commentary: Soviet Forced Labour Camps14. Koestler: and the Little Flirts15. Commentary: Fellow-Travellers16. Greene: The Quiet AmericanPart 3: History and Fiction in the Soviet Orbit17. Commentary: The Socialist Realist Novel from War to Cold War18. The Tragic Case of Vasily Grossman19. Commentary: Collectivization20. Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago21. Chukovskaya: Honour among Women22. Commentary: Purge and Terror23. The Iron Fist: The Trial of Daniel and Sinyavsky24. Foreign Affairs: The Menace of Kafka25. Germany Doubly Divided: Christa Wolf and Uwe JohnsonPart 4: Solzhenitsyn26. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich27. The First Circle28. Commentary: Stalin and Lenin in Soviet Fiction29. From Cancer Ward to The Gulag Archipelago30. Commentary: Bureaucracy, the New Class and Double Standards31. Vladimov: Faithful RuslanPart 5: The American Novel and the New Politics32. Commentary: Fiction, the New Journalism, and the Postmodern33. Mailer: The Armies of the Night34. Fiction and the Rosenbergs: E.L. Doctorow and Robert CooverConclusionReferences and NotesBibliographyName IndexSubject Index