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Hollywood: A Novel of America in the 1920's…
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Hollywood: A Novel of America in the 1920's (originale 1990; edizione 1991)

di Gore Vidal

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
743822,467 (3.51)15
Follows the career of Caroline Sanford, a brilliant and beautiful newspaper publisher who leaves Washington to become a Hollywood producer and movie star.
Utente:AnnavanGelderen
Titolo:Hollywood: A Novel of America in the 1920's
Autori:Gore Vidal
Info:Ballantine Books (Mm) (1991), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca, Da leggere
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Hollywood di Gore Vidal (1990)

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> 535 pages quand même. Un pavé du calibre de "Belle du seigneur", d'Albert Cohen, plein d'intelligence et de lucidité sur ce qu'allait devenir l'Amérique au sortir de la Guerre 14 – 18 (en même temps, il l'a écrit en 1989!) mais surtout – ainsi que le suggère le titre, "Hollywood" - l'influence qu'allait représenter la montée en puissance du cinéma (Gore Vidal ne parle pas encore de télévision qui, à l'instar d'une bombe à fragmentations, démultiplie encore le problème) sur la manipulation et la fabrication de l'opinion publique – au moins américaine. --Danieljean (Babelio)

> Citations et Extraits (Babelio) : https://www.babelio.com/livres/Vidal-Hollywood/90049#citations ( )
  Joop-le-philosophe | Feb 20, 2021 |
I read this for research, and while I did find some relevant material, this was not a particularly enjoyable read. First of all, very little of the book is actually in or about Hollywood; it's centered in Washington, D.C. on political shenanigans. The cover quote also says it's a novel about the 1920s, while in fact 3/4 of the book takes places in the late teens, depicting America entering the Great War and the developments around that.

This is very much a literary fiction novel with lots and lots of talking, virtually no action, and sexual escapades all around, though nothing graphic. The cast is wide and I found it difficult to track who was who because there was a constant barrage of new names. The actual depictions of history is fantastic, though. Vidal captures the sense of the time with fine details and everything is well-paced. Characters are well-done, too, and quite strong through dialogue alone. While this was definitely not my sort of book, I can see why Gore Vidal was such a big name in the field. ( )
  ladycato | Jun 12, 2018 |
As the subtitle indicates, this novel is not entirely about Hollywood; a good deal of the book deals with the later years of the Wilson Administration and then on into the Harding Administration and Harding's death.

For anyone who doesn't know Vidal's politics, he was anti-imperialist and anti-interventionist, so much so that today he's rather popular among some antiwar libertarians as well as Old Right anti-interventionist paleocons. He doesn't portray Wilson in all that favorable a light – Wilson is well-meaning but an academic who is sometimes quite inept politically and rather dictatorially inclined.

On the other hand, Vidal portrays Harding in a much better light than Harding has been accorded by traditional historians. What a lot of people forget is that Harding commuted the sentence of the Socialist Eugene Debs, freeing him after he'd been sentenced to ten years for sedition during the Wilson Administration. In fact, as to his treatment of Debs, Harding – "back to normalcy" – comes off somewhat like Jimmy Carter in his pardon of the Vietnam era draft resisters. (Hollywood was published in 1990, so Carter very well would have been in Vidal's mind, but Vidal doesn't preach – he presents what is in appearance an objective history.)

Vidal's assessment of Harding? After Harding's death, Senator Thomas Gore thought that Harding was probably well out of it. "He was much too nice a man for the presidency."

Note that Senator Thomas Gore was Gore Vidal 's maternal grandfather, so Vidal is here doubtless using the senator as the author's own voice. And Vidal gives Harding credit for the 1921-22 Washington Naval (Disarmament) Conference, portraying Harding as politically much more skillful than Wilson in accomplishing his ends.

So much for the history. The novel itself derives its title, Hollywood, from the fictional Caroline Sanford's involvement in the motion picture industry, as a producer and also as screen star under the name "Emma Traxler"; and such real-life characters as Will Hays, Elinor Glyn (a Virago author), and many others make significant appearances. Caroline, who is the leading fictional character of the later volumes of the Narratives of Empire series, has figured promimently in Empire and will appear as an older woman in The Golden Age. In particular, it's Caroline's presence – along with other fictional characters, notably her half-brother Blaise Sanford – that lifts Hollywood from a rather pedestrian (vide Vidal's Lincoln) semi-fictionalized history to a 4½**** novel. ( )
  CurrerBell | Feb 28, 2018 |
This is probably less confusing if you have read the other books in the series. The cover of my copy says 'Hollywood : a novel of America in the 1920s' and doesn't mention a series. I find myself struggling through political machinations of Washington DC in 1917. This is not at all what I was led to expect. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Jun 20, 2016 |
Gore Vidal's Narrative of Empire series of historical novels is the work that will take him into history when all his other accomplishments are forgotten. Vidal brings historical personalities into his story like no one before him - not just celebrity walk-ons, but full-blooded characters in his narrative with emotions, motivations, thoughts, deeds and words as pertinent to the story as any of his fictional characters. In fact, Vidal's fictional characters - loosely, the familial progeny of Vice President Aaron Burr - are really just the framework on which the real historical characters sit and act. Vidal seeks to show how America has developed a political and ruling class every bit as imperial, privileged and elite as anything Ancient Rome or Victorian England came up with.

Hollywood covers the period from the mid-1910s to the mid-1920s and rather than focusing on the major events of this time (America's entry to the First World War, the League of Nations, Prohibition, etc.), although he does cover these and often in some detail, he chooses to zero in on the political details of how men become Presidents and then retain their power and how lesser men hang on to their coattails, scooping up whatever crumbs of power and money they can. Hollywood also shows how the new technology of the cinema was able to transform America from a loose group of disparate communities based on Old World nation states to become a united nation with a common set of values: a real concern was the possibility of a political or even civil reaction by German-based communities in America to joining the War on the Allies side, which was offset by Hollywood propaganda that brought these communities into an American outlook rather than an historical German one.

This is 'House of Cards' for the history set and is highly recommended. ( )
  pierthinker | Dec 7, 2015 |
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Slowly, William Randolph Hearst lowered his vast bear-like body into a handsome Biedermeier chair, all scrolls and lyres and marquetry.
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Caroline suddenly realized that she - and everyone else - had been approaching this new game from the wrong direction. Movies were not there simply to reflect life or tell stories but to exist in their own autonomous way and to look, as it were, back at those who made them and watched them. They had used the movies successfully to demonize national enemies. Now why not use them to alter the viewer's perception of himself and the world?
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Follows the career of Caroline Sanford, a brilliant and beautiful newspaper publisher who leaves Washington to become a Hollywood producer and movie star.

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