Michael Sandlin is a contributing writer for the Brooklyn Rail.
Continuing in the vein of his once-timely Gates of Eden (1977), a solid but conventional socio-cultural history of the 1960s, Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression is reputable pre-boomer cultural historian and literary critic Morris Dicksteins latest attempt to illuminate a historically tumultuous decade via a broad critical survey of its major cultural achievements.
For someone who so ferociously champions the onward rush of change and innovationwhether hes writing about Chinese poetry, anthropological photography, or New Yorker darling E.B. Whiteit may seem ironic that so many of internationally lauded essayist Eliot Weinbergers literary subjects have been, until now, quietly buried in the past.
When you consider the gentlemanly quietude of post-millennial literary criticism, its hard not to appreciate the Big Noise that legendary hipster academic (or nonacademic academic as he oxymoronically called himself) Leslie Fiedler generated early in his career.