A friend stopped by today, and our conversation drifted to John Dos Passos and his U.S.A. trilogy. We were both English majors in college, but neither of us had been obliged to do much more than sample Dos Passos while in school, so we agreed it was something of a surprise to discover, late in life, what a skillful (not to mention entertaining) writer he was.
Yeah, the politics in U.S.A. feels a little quaint. But preachy or not, you can’t deny the story’s passion. The narrative rolls along like a freight train, and those “Camera Eye” stream-of-consciousness fragments feel as fresh and immediate as anything on the table today. The Newsreels? They're like the stuff Joyce was doing in Ulysses.