Why is American Literature Culturally Deprived?
Kenneth Rexroth discussed what he considered to be the provincialism and intellectual impoverishment of American writers. He stated that they were less-informed, less well-bred, lacking in good critical sense and any context of world society. He compared contemporary American writers to those of the 1920s and 1930s, including Eliot, Pound, Lawrence, Dos Pasos, Steinbeck, and Hemingway, as well as such writers of the late 1950s as Ferlinghetti and Kerouac. He emphasized that nobody was writing about Selma, Berkeley, or other events. This was a reflection of the impoverishment of American writers in terms of total national and world awareness. Rexroth stated this was because American literature was being produced out of the middle class, where the ebbing puritan ethos was in conflict with modern society.
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