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Cinematic FictionsThe Impact of the Cinema on the American Novel up to World War II$
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David Seed

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312120

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315190

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Documentary of the 1930s

Documentary of the 1930s

(p.173) 9 Documentary of the 1930s
Cinematic Fictions
Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the incorporation of documentary techniques in writing of the thirties. It examines the work of Eudora Welty, a writer who cross-applied photographic and cinematic methods in her fiction; Tom Kromer's Waiting for Nothing (1935), a novel about Depression America told in the present tense; two documentaries by John Dos Passos, which were produced to support the democratic front in the Spanish Civil War – Spain in Flames (1937) and The Spanish Earth (1937); the documentary You Have Seen Their Faces (1937), a collaboration between the Southern novelist Erskine Caldwell and the Fortune photographer Margaret Bourke-White; and James Agee, one of the most famous documentary authors of this period, whose works combined interest in film, photography, fiction, and reportage.

Keywords:   documentary films, Eudora Welty, women writers, photography, cinematic methods, Tom Kromer, John Dos Passos, Erskin Caldwell, Margaret Bourke-White, James Agee

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