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The 42nd Parallel, by John Dos Passos

Extrait sélectionné et présenté par Alice Béja, en complément de son article "Littérature et société aux Etats-Unis : 1917-1968"


Cet extrait est un montage des différents segments narratifs employés par John Dos Passos dans U.S.A. Dans les Actualités, l'auteur se livre à un montage d'extraits d'articles de journaux et de chansons populaires pour rendre manifeste l'air du temps qui entoure ses romans. L'il Caméra met en scène un personnage largement autobiographique qui raconte ses expériences à travers la technique du flux de conscience. Les passages narratifs décrivant la vie des différents personnages correspondent souvent aux canons du roman naturaliste. Enfin, les biographies, sortes de poèmes en prose, font le portrait d'Américains célèbres sous un mode élégiaque ou ironique.


Newsreel 1

It was that emancipated race That was chargin' up the hill Up to where them insurrectos Was afightin' fit to kill


     General Miles with his gaudy uniform and spirited charger was the center for all eyes, especially as his steed was extremely restless. Just as the band passed the Commanding General, his horse stood upon his hind legs and was almost erect. [...]


The Camera Eye (I)

     when you walk along the street you have to step carefully always on the cobbles so as not to step on the bright anxious grassblades        easier if you hold Mother's hand and hang on it that way you can kick up your toes but walking fast you have to tread on too many grassblades the poor hurt green tongues shrink under your feet          maybe that's why those people are so angry and follow us shaking their fists [...]



     When the wind set from the silver factories across the river the air of the gray fourfamily frame house where Fainy McCreary was born was choking all day with the smell of whaleoil soap. Other days it smelt of cabbage and babies and Mrs McCreary's washboilers. Fainy could never play at home because Pop, a lame cavechested man with a wispy blondgray mustache, was nightwatchman at the Chadwick Mills and slept all day. [...]


Lover of Mankind

     Debs was a railroadman, born in a weatherboarded shack at Terre Haute.      He was one of ten children.      His father had come to America in a sailingship in '49,      an Alsatian from Colmar; not much of a moneymaker, fond of music and reading,      he gave his children a chance to finish public school and that was about all he could do. [...]

Mise à jour le 24 mars 2009
Créé le 24 février 2009
ISSN 2107-7029
DGESCO Clé des Langues