Here I sit, nearly a year into my status of a PhD candidate,  and I’ve done very little actual writing since November 2013. Very little reading after that as well. The weeks slip by, and the “DIS” section of my “to do” list gets a more and more accusatory. 

Tonight I cracked open a book that has been sitting on my shelf (and renewed twice from the library). Morris Dickstein’s Dancing in the Dark is a cultural history of American life in 1930s. While it focuses primarily on film, visual art, writing, and poetry with nary a mention of the Federal Theatre in the index, I hope it can give me a broader picture of the era.

I find it hard sometimes to focus on my reading. Not that it doesn’t interest me; instead I have bursts of inspiration and insight. In the introduction (told you I just cracked it open), Dickstein explores the differing ways that writers present the impoverished of America’s economic crashes. I had to put the book the down as the spiderwebs in my head began making connections between the Living Newspapers of the FTP and the middle-class fear of It Can’t Happen Here.

It’s late. This was my first post, and I get to make a check on “Diss Blog.”

Tomorrow: Shad Ledue and the working poor.

 

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