Literature and Race in Los Angeles

Series: Cultural Margins (No.8)

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Los Angeles is both the most fragmented and the most minoritized metropolis in America, and its most luridly abstract and aestheticized city. With more than eighty-five languages being spoken in its classrooms, and one homogeneous visual language emanating from its entertainment industry, LA radically challenges the prospects of that archaic representational medium: literature. In its investigation of the work of Bret Easton Ellis, James Ellroy, Anna Deveare Smith and others, Literature and Race in Los Angeles articulates their aesthetic preoccupations with the structures of social space in the city. Harnessing some of the theoretical insights of Henri Lefebvre and the 'LA school' of geographers, Murphet demonstrates the versatility of literary production in LA and speculates about the fortunes of literature in a predominantly visual culture.