By Jani Scandura

Mucking round within the messy terrain of yankee trash, Jani Scandura tells the tale of the us through the nice melancholy via evocative and photo-rich snap shots of 4 locales: Reno, Key West, Harlem, and Hollywood. In investigating those Depression-era “dumps,” areas that she claims contained and reclaimed the cultural, ideological, and fabric refuse of recent the US, Scandura introduces the idea that of “depressive modernity,” a permanent affective portion of American tradition that exposes itself at these moments whilst the foundational myths of the United States and revolutionary modernity—capitalism, democracy, individualism, secularism, utopian aspiration—are thrown into query. Depressive modernity is modernity at a standstill. one of these modernity isn't really stagnant or fastened, nor motionless, yet is constituted through an immediate unstaging of hope, territory, language, and reminiscence that finds itself within the shimmering of position.

An interpretive bricolage that attracts on an not going archive of Nineteen Thirties detritus—office memos, scribbled manuscripts, scrapbooks, ruined images, newspaper clippings, glass eyes, incinerated level units, pulp novels, and junk washed ashore—Down within the Dumps escorts its readers via Reno’s divorce manufacturing facility of the Thirties, the place from around the usa got here to speedy dissolve matrimonial bonds; Key West’s multilingual salvage economic climate and its prestige because the island that turned the guts of an ideological tug-of-war among the yank New Deal executive and a politically fraught Caribbean; post-Renaissance Harlem, within the means of memorializing, remembering, grieving, and rewriting a modernity that had already handed; and Studio-era Hollywood, Nathanael West’s “dump of dreams,” during which the advent of sound in movie and shifts in artwork course started to rework how american citizens understood place-making or even being itself. A coda on Alcatraz and the Pentagon brings the ebook into the current, exploring how American melancholy involves undergo on post-9/11 America.

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Down in the Dumps: Place, Modernity, American Depression by Jani Scandura


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