The Twilight of the Middle Class : Post-World War II American Fiction and White-Collar Work / Andrew Hoberek.
- Course Book
- Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, 
- Princeton paperbacks.
1 online resource (169 p.)
- White collar workers in literature.
World War, 1939-1945 -- United States -- Literature and the war.
Literature and society -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Middle class in literature.
American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
- Electronic books.
- In The Twilight of the Middle Class, Andrew Hoberek challenges the commonly held notion that post-World War II American fiction eschewed the economic for the psychological or the spiritual. Reading works by Ayn Rand, Ralph Ellison, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, and others, he shows how both the form and content of postwar fiction responded to the transformation of the American middle class from small property owners to white-collar employees. In the process, he produces "compelling new accounts of identity politics and postmodernism that will be of interest to anyone who reads or teaches contemporary fiction. Hoberek argues that despite the financial gains and job security enjoyed by the postwar middle class, the transition to white-collar employment paved the way for its current precarious state in a country marked by increasingly deep class divisions. Postwar fiction provided the middle class with various imaginative substitutes for its former property-owning independence, substitutes that since then have not only allowed but abetted this class's downward mobility. To read this fiction in the light of the middle-class experience is thus not only to restore the severed connections between literary and economic "history in the second half of the twentieth "century, but to explore the roots of the contemporary crisis of the middle class.
INTRODUCTION: The Twilight of the Middle Class
CHAPTER ONE: Ayn Rand and the Politics of Property
CHAPTER TWO: Race Man, Organization Man, Invisible Man
CHAPTER THREE: "The So-Called Jewish Novel"
CHAPTER FOUR: Flannery O'Connor and the Southern Origins of Identity Politics
EPILOGUE: The Postmodern Fallacy
- Description based upon print version of record.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -154) and index.
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (publisher's Web site, viewed 08. Jul 2019)
- Publisher Number:
- 10.1515/9781400826810 doi
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