.... OF STREETS AND STARS by Alan Marcus


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Alan Mareus' Streets and Stars is a novel of everyday Hollywood, a significant, highly suggestive, always scrupulous work. In the traditional sense it has no plot, its series of scenes seem on everything; nothing is prepared for an is a New Wave film; its characterizations are a contradiction in terms, they are compassionate, its realism, sometimes so banal, is almost documentary. But its humanity. Its Dora, a washout secretary with preposterous dreams, its George, a hack writes, full of self disgust, self-love its bravura passages like the grotesque charwomen singing in suites, its hallucinatory vaudeville like the fanletter mailing farmer, coming out of the cornfields to meet his Beverly Hills goddess, all are people and psychological states radically experienced, enigmatically explored. That it has its antecedents is obvious; the symbolic time schema is Virginia Woolf's; the dialogue, the off key dramatics borrow from Nathanael West or Fuchs. A truly original work this is not, but a truly one it most splendidly is. Incredibly neglected upon its small house publication 2 years ago, the Houghton Mifflin reissuing should now garner it a critical and a critical over-response. Yet even there it is justified, for a-midst the lamentable lowliness of contemporary creations, novelist Marcus stands out and up like a study broom in a rubbish heap. A man definitely to watch.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1962
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin