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Contemporary American Literature: (1945-Present) (Background by Erik V. R. Rangno

By Erik V. R. Rangno

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T hey t e nd e d to be pos tm oderni s ts wh o cha m pi o ned so m et hi ng ca lled a n “op e n fi eld” a pproa ch to thei r po et ry. Thi s a ppro a ch enco u ra ged po et s t o e xp e ri m ent wi th a nd i m prov i s e new st yles i n a m a nner si m i la r t o t he avant - g a rde m us i ci a ns a nd pa i nters o f t he da y. Hea v i ly i nf lu enced by t he b e b o p m us i c of Cha rli e Pa rker a nd o t hers, t he gro u p held t he st a t u s of p oe t i c techni que to be of the u t m o st i m po rt a nce.

Beginning with the Nixon-Kennedy debate in 1960, policy makers and politicians came to understand television’s enormous potential to change the public’s mind. LITERARY JOURNALISM also sought to capture the era in new and innovative ways. In response to escalating violence abroad and the remarkable number of social changes taking place at home, journalists looked for new ways to express themselves and the harsh realities they experienced. Journalists such as Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, and Joan Didion increasingly began to use fictional techniques to supplement and craft the information they gathered.

Before resigning during his second term, he created the Environmental Protection Agency, putting an end to 34 3 . T h e Si xt i e s a n d Be yon d ❧ T H E M A N C H U R I A N C A N D I DA T E AND DR . STRANGELOVE ❧ In t he a f term a th of the Kennedy a ssa ssi na t i o n, t w o Am eri ca n f i lm s c au se d m a ny gov ernm ent of f i ci als t o ret hi nk t he po w er o f f i lm t o a f f ect the popu la r i m a gi na t i o n. The firs t of thes e wa s John Fra nk enhei m er ’ s The Manchurian Candidate (1962), s ta rri ng Fra nk Si na t ra .

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