Contemporary American Fiction

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Field Trip!

Remember that we’re meeting at the Museum of Jurassic Technology tomorrow:
9341 Venice Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232-2621
(310) 836-6131

You should arrive between 10 and 10:30.  Bring a notebook and pen to record your observations and responses.  We will be having tea at 11:15.


Sign Up Sheet

Hello everyone!

It was great to meet you all today.  I’m looking forward to a fun and intellectually challenging semester.  I’m posting the sign-up sheet for recommended readings to this post and on the Recommended Reading page. Click the link below to download:

Recommended Reading Sign Up

See you tomorrow,



“To live sanely in Los Angeles (or, I suppose, in any other large American city) you have to cultivate the art of staying awake. You must learn to resist (firmly but not tensely) the unceasing hypnotic suggestions of the radio, the billboards, the movies and the newspapers; those demon voices which are forever whispering in your ear what you should desire, what you should fear, what you should wear and eat and drink and enjoy, what you should think and do and be. They have planned a life for you – from the cradle to the grave and beyond – which it would be easy, fatally easy, to accept. The least wandering of the attention, the least relaxation of your awareness, and already the eyelids begin to droop, the eyes grow vacant, the body starts to move in obedience to the hypnotist’s command. Wake up, wake up – before you sign that seven-year contract, buy that house you don’t really want, marry that girl you secretly despise. Don’t reach for the whisky, that won’t help you. You’ve got to think, to discriminate, to exercise your own free will and judgment. And you must do this, I repeat, without tension, quite rationally and calmly. For if you give way to fury against the hypnotists, if you smash the radio and tear the newspapers to shreds, you will only rush to the other extreme and fossilize into defiant eccentricity.”
-Christopher Isherwood, Exhumations