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Thread: White trash, bums, and prostitutes in American literature

  1. #1

    gone.

    gone.
    Last edited by Ragnar Freund; 12-13-2011 at 02:07 PM. Reason: gone.

  2. #2
    It's on my bookshelf, not started yet, but Suttree by Cormac McCarthy might be up your alley. Meant to be quite a few misfit outlaw sort of characters in it.

    And McCarthy is a brilliant writer.

  3. #3
    Raymond Carver wrote about such types, often referred to as "dirty realism"

    more authors like that would be:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_realism

    Dirty Realism is a North American literary movement born in the 1970s-80s in which the narrative is stripped down to its fundamental features.[1]

    This movement is a derivative of minimalism. As minimalism, dirty realism is characterized by an economy with words and a focus on surface description. Authors working within the genre tend to eschew adverbs and prefer allowing context to dictate meaning. The characters in minimalist stories and novels tend to be unexceptional.[2]

    Dirty realists include the movement's "godfather" Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), as well as the short story writers Raymond Carver[3] (1938-1988), Tobias Wolff (1945), Richard Ford (1944), Larry Brown (1951-2004), Frederick Barthelme (1943), Cormac McCarthy (1930), Pedro Juan Gutiérrez (1950), and Fernando Velázquez Medina (1951).

    The term was coined by Bill Buford of Granta to define the styles of writers such as Carver.[4]

  4. #4
    Registered User Desolation's Avatar
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    Just about anything by William Faulkner or Henry Miller would cover those kinds of subjects.

  5. #5
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    A more contemporary take on a dysfunctional white trash family is sympathetically handled by Tawni O'Dell in her novel 'Back Roads'. It's a harrowingly tragic tale yet is also compulsive reading

    As for the seedier side of city life look no further than the crime literature of James Ellroy - 'L A Confidential' for example.

    H

  6. #6
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    Most of American Drama. The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill is an example.

  7. #7
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    A Walk on the Wild Side, by Neslon Algren

    Wise Blood, by Flannery O'Conner
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

  8. #8
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Stephen crane was the greatest writer of white trash tales ever:



    The Bowery Tales and others writings of the seedy Lower East Side of New York were banned in his time because they were too realistic.

    -----------------------

    Ned Buntline (the Great Rascal) wrote The Mysteries and Miseries of New York: A Story of Real Life and other realistic tales of the Lower Manhattan. Very good reading.
    “... by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord ... I am now, as before, a Catholic and will always remain so.”

    --- Adolf Hitler

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellsapoppin View Post
    Stephen crane was the greatest writer of white trash tales ever:



    The Bowery Tales and others writings of the seedy Lower East Side of New York were banned in his time because they were too realistic.

    -----------------------

    Ned Buntline (the Great Rascal) wrote The Mysteries and Miseries of New York: A Story of Real Life and other realistic tales of the Lower Manhattan. Very good reading.
    Good point. America is based precisely on realism and its extreme reactions to it.

    I also like your quote of Adolf, while his coronation (Charlemagne Style) was going on. And it was in the context of exterminating all Jews.

  10. #10
    Registered User marcolfo's Avatar
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    "on the road" by jack kerouack
    I'm always home, I'm uncool.

  11. #11
    Registered User WyattGwyon's Avatar
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    Suttree by Cormac McCarthy exactly meets your requirements—and it is one of the masterpieces of modern English literature. Suttree, the main character, lives on the margins of society in Knoxville Tennessee and nearly everyone he deals with is on the fringe of society—the homeless, alcoholics, criminals, inmates of penitentiaries, hermits, prostitutes . . .

    It is challenging reading, however.

  12. #12
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell

    To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    The Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn Chute


    and all by Faulkner
    “... by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord ... I am now, as before, a Catholic and will always remain so.”

    --- Adolf Hitler

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    Registered User keilj's Avatar
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    I don't really see the logic of recommending Faulkner to someone who likes Steinbeck - Steinbeck writes straightforward prose and Falkner does the opposite

    For the OP - I would highly recommend Night of the Iguana and The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams. Iguana almost feels like it could have been written by Steinbeck.

    Also the short story The Battler by Hemingway. Also, (I know it's by Steinbeck) The Wayward Bus

  14. #14
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    The OP specifically requests info on writers other than Steinbeck. It would appear that a diversified listing is most suitable for the purpose indicated.
    “... by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord ... I am now, as before, a Catholic and will always remain so.”

    --- Adolf Hitler

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