'The death of the 'public intellectual' has been announced more often than the death of the novel,' a 2006 article in New York magazine claimed. Hollywood Intellect argues that the assumptions on which such laments rest result from misleading inattention to the intellectual work that mass culture performs. From D.W. Griffith's Intolerance to The Simpson's Movie, much of America's influential intellectual work has come out of Hollywood, which has long shaped America's intellectual agenda.
- Paperback | 254 pages
- 152.4 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 408.23g
- 28 Sep 2009
- Lexington Books
- Lanham, MD, United States
About James D. Bloom
James D. Bloom is a professor of English at Muhlenberg College. He is the author of Gravity Fails: The Jewish Shaping of Modern America, Literary Bent: In Search of High Art in Contemporary American Writing, Left Letters: The Culture Wars of Mike Gold and Jospeh Freeman, and The Stock of Available Reality: R.P. Blackmur and John Berryman.
James D. Bloom has written a stimulating and important account of Hollywood and its history, showing how movies think, and think in systematic and complex ways. Rather than mirrors on the world or images of ourselves, movies, especially classic Hollywood movies, create sites of reflection and dispute about the very things they seem only to describe-wealth, power, glamor, and all the idealizations to which human desire succumbs. Buttressed by a very considerable use of star biography and studio history, Bloom's argument is neither speculative nor nebulous. It is specific, and it is deadly-it shows how implicated we all are in the kind of critical thinking that the School of Hollywood has taught us unawares. -- Perry Meisel, New York University James Bloom is an incomparable guide to-and peacemaker between-the high and the low in American culture. In Hollywood Intellect, he gives us a breathtakingly comprehensive vision of what the movies really have in mind. Bloom's frame of reference is wider than Cinerama. -- James Kaplan, author of Two Guys From Verona and co-author, with Jerry Lewis, of Dean & Me?A Love Story Just when I thought that serious, enlightening criticism was dead, along comes James Bloom's Hollywood Intellect to help me see poetry, poets, movies, movie-makers, American culture-and myself-in a new illuminating way. Poetry and movies? Who would have thought it? Tarzan, Shirley Temple, and John Milton all in the same book? But that's the wonderful thing about fine minds at work on old subects-they make us see things differently. -- Alan Cheuse, George Mason University
Table of contents
Chapter 1 Preface: "Intellectual Fantasies" Chapter 2 Chapter 1. Intelligenti Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Stargazers Chapter 4 Chapter 3. Civilization the Movie Chapter 5 Chapter 4. Civilization the Movie Noir Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Unseen Melodies/Reel Time Chapter 7 Chapter 6. Pov Pandora Chapter 8 Conclusion: Checking the Gate