I got a couple of comments on my previous Art post, and I think I need to reply.
My attitudes toward science fiction and the mainstream are very much shaped by growing up in a middle class household in the Midwest in the 1950s. My parents were not entirely typical, I think it would be fair to say. Their loyalty was to avant garde art and progressive politics. I grew up surrounded by Abstract Expressionist art and High Modernist books.
My hostility is not to High Modernism or the visual arts of the first half of the 20th century. I love the art. I am less interested in the literature, but I figure that is my fault, not the fault of the books.
However, like many middle class people in the Midwest, my parents subscribed to The New Yorker
, the Sunday New York Times
and the London Times Literary Supplement
. This is the culture I did not like.
It was centered in New York and in the educated upper middle class; and it focused on the social and psychological problems of the East Coast educated upper middle class.
I had no trouble with the Beats or with the poetry that Robert Bly was publishing in his magazine variously named The Fifties
, The Sixties
and The Seventies
. (Bly, with all his later quirks and failings, did wonderful work as an editor; and he loathed mid-20th century, academic, American poetry.) When I talk about literary fiction, I am talking about a narrow band within literature that was important in my youth.
Built into my attitudes is a lot of prejudice, which I can't justify and which I need to think about.
So I am not saying that I'm right. I am simply describing my opinions at the moment. I think they need to change. And it's by writing, and then having people comment on my posts that I begin to see what's wrong with my opinions.
As far as literature by immigrants about immigrant culture go, I suspect Foxessa is right, and this work is interesting. I also have no personal problem with the large amounts of fantastic literature that has come from Europe and Latin America and (no doubt) elsewhere. I am basically talking about literary culture of white, middle class New York in the second half of the 20th century.
The passage I wrote on Hollywood and SF is a tangent and not based on enough information. I would delete it, but I don't usually delete when what I have written has produced a comment.