Then we come to John Dos Passos’s entry in the race, a series of three novels originally published separately — The 42nd Parallel (). If The 42nd Parallel, the first novel in John Dos Passos’ formerly revered, now oft- forgotten trilogy U.S.A. lacks the psychological, nuanced. The 42nd Parallel is the first volume of Dos Passos’ famous U.S.A. Trilogy. This is structurally one of the most challenging of forms. It is the story of the U.S.A.

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It never bores or underwhelms. Non-Profit With contributions from donors, Library of America preserves and celebrates a vital part of our cultural heritage for generations to come. Some have complained about the number of Dos Passos’ characters and how shallowly he paints them.

However, the novel has surpassed the ideals of the Literary Canon from those two decades and has ended up on a few lists of the best novels of the twenty-first century. They come across as intrusions from another work, perhaps a bad imitation of James Joyce. Actually, it is for these reasons that I love the book. I’m gonna go out on a limb: This is a war novel with no combat scenes. And if no agreement is in sight on which book deserves the title, fans of American fiction at least have some worthy candidates.

Thank you for signing up! Sometimes it’s hard to go back in experimental fiction, toward its infancy and simply not have the patience that it requires. Examples can be furnished upon request. Probably more than half of those are just ok. Each chapter is titled with a character’s name and each evolves, through their own eyes, and when paths cross, through others. Also odd was that one thing Dos Passos did to padallel the stage was 422nd song lyrics. Dec 23, David rated it really liked it Recommends it for: If any of the innumerable characters in the U.

If you just went by the worldviews, you might think that Dos Passos had aimed to write the Great Russian Novel.


Highly enjoyable book once you figure out how to read all of Dos Passos new literary devices such as Camera Eye and Newsreels. And the characters who are already rich want to passo richer.

Ben Clague on John Dos Passos’ The 42nd Parallel

Everybody stood around wiping mayonnaise off his clothes. Overall, this is excellent. One line in the middle of book caught my attention which I feel adequately describes the overall mood of the book.

Janet Galligani Casey has analysed Dos Passos’ treatment and development of the growth of his female characters in the trilogy. With inspiration and admiration from F. If you were to ask a literati in the ‘s what American authors would still ;assos read inDos Passos would have been mentioned in some amazing company: Instead we are left with cardboard characters mouthing comments such as: The influence Dos Passos must have had on a whole host of writers before he was duck walked off stage in the growing anti-communist sentiment of the s and s, would make an interesting PHD paper for some earnest young person.

I was naive enough to feel that I could do everything. The four narrative modes In the fictional narrative sections, the U.

While Dos Passos gives his characters Christian names, The 42nd Parallel is even less significantly “about” its characters than Ragtime. Army Overseas Education Commission allowed him to study anthropology at the Sorbonne.

For me the stories were compelling and I couldn’t stop reading about them. Steinmetz was a famous magician and he talked to Edison tapping with the Morse code on Edison’s knee because Edison was so very deaf and he went passox West to make speeches that nobody understood and he talked to Bryan about God on dis railroad train and all the reporters stood round while he and Einstein met face to face; and but they couldn’t catch what they said. His father also had issues with him given that he had the audacity to swell the belly of HIS mistress.

Later, he traveled with his tutor on a tour through France, England, Italy, Greece and the Middle East to study classical art, architecture and literature.


The 42nd Parallel – John Dos Passos

Which would suggest that this book is better than those other books I read and forgot. One of the narrative devices Passos uses is Headlines from the time period and brief newspaper clippings, and about half way throug If I had to use one word to describe my feelings overall towards this book it would be disappointing.

Those characters who pursue “the big money” without scruple succeed, but are dehumanized by success.

Only the ears busy to catch the speech are not alone; the ears are caught tight, linked tight by the tendrils of phrased words, the turn of a joke, the singsong fade of a story, the gruff fall of a sentence; liking tendrils of speech twine through the city blocks, spread over pavements, grow out along parked avenues, speed with the trucks leaving on their long night runs over roaring highways, whisper down sandy byroads past wornout farms, joining up cities and fillingstations, roundhouses, steamboats, planes groping along airways; words call out on mountain pastures, drift slow down rivers widening to the sa and the hushed beaches.

Novels by John Dos Passos. Want to Read saving…. His wife is pretty and the way she smells and feels when she is in his arms provides a comfort.

In the audio book, these snippets are sung in an old-timey way that unfortunately was just not pleasant. Dos Passos’ characters chase, in myriad ways, their American Dreams, as the nation rapidly matures in its new identity as an urban, commercial, world power.

The rise of war hero Charley Anderson to success as an entrepreneur in the aviation industry emerges as the dominant story in the final volume, and for once Dos Passos has a real plot on his hands, with potential both for social commentary and also old-fashioned storytelling.