Schulberg, Budd: The Disenchanted
(researched by Anonymous, by request)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Schulberg, Budd. The Disenchanted. New York: Random House, 1950. Copyright 1950 Budd Schulberg. Parallel First Editions: In Australia: The Disenchanted. Melbourne: Invincible Press, 1950. In Canada: The Disenchanted. Toronto: Random House, 1950. Source: The National Union Catalog and inspection of the first edition
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition is published in blue trade cloth binding with a dust jacket.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
202 leaves, pp. [12][1-2] 3-388 [4].
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
The first edition was neither edited nor introduced.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
There are no illustrations inside the actual text, but there is an illustration on the dust jacket. The jacket design is by Irving Miller. The jacket is further described in question 15.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The pages measure 228 mm by 135 mm, with the text occupying an area of 160 mm by 100 mm. The text is 84R, in serif type. The readability of this edition is good, the margins are well spaced with considerably more room at the bottom of the page. The spacing between the lines is good and constant - approximately 2.5 mm between lines. The type is clear and has not worn. The chapters are marked with the corresponding number, 8 mm in height, in the upper right hand corner of the page, with no titles. The cover is lightly worn, with some wear occurring around the edges.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper is a wove paper with an even, granulated texture. The book consists of the same paper stock throughout, except the first and last leaves, which are considerably heavier. There is a red gilt on the top of the pages. The paper is a cream color, and it doesn't appear to be discolored other than on the inside cover and the first page, where the dust jacket has left a stain. The paper is holding up well, there are no rips or tears.
11 Description of binding(s)
The cloth is a blue trade cloth, slightly worn. The cover has a uneven wavy line that consists of small black dots running across the top portion. The line is 16 mm thick. Printed over top of the line is the title, in all lower case letters, in gold leaf. The gold did not appear to be faded until I compared it with a later edition of the first edition which has been better preserved. The spine transcription is as follows: the disenchanted [no caps, in a gold leaf block] | [rule line] | BUDD SCHULBERG [all caps] | random house [no caps, both this and the preceding line are in a gold leaf block] | [Random House publishing company insignia]. The paper has a red gilt on the top edge.
12 Transcription of title page
Recto: The title page is a spread over unmarked pages [8-9]. The same uneven wavy line consisting of the small black dots runs across both pages, starting at the bottom left hand corner of [8] and ending in the upper right hand corner of [9]. The title is in all lower case letters, with "the" on page [8] and "disenchanted" on page [9]. At the top of page [8] is [publisher's crest] and "Random House: NY". The author's name appears on the bottom of page [9]. The title is in royal blue with all other text in black. Verso: First Printing | The quotation on page 86 is from T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men," and the one on page 108 is from "the Waste Land." Both quotation are from Mr. Eliot's Collected Poems 1909- 1935, copyright, 1936, by Harcourt, Brace, and Company, Inc., and are used with their permission | The lyric on page 230 is from "Nagasaki" by Herry Warren and Mort Dixon. Copyright 1928, by Remick Music Corporation. Reprinted by permission. | Copyright, 1950, by Budd Schulberg | All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions | Published in New York by Random House, Inc., and simultaneously in Toronto, Canada, by Random House of Canada, Limited. | Manufactured in the United States of America by H. Wolff | Designer: Ernst Reichl.
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
The only indication of any manuscripts that have been released was found in American Literary Manuscripts, where it lists unnamed manuscripts of the author's at both the Mugar Memorial Library at Boston University, and the Baker Memorial Library at Dartmouth college (the author's alma mater).
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
The dust jacket for the book is an off white color with not much fading. The edges were worn and torn, and the spine was cracked a bit. The formerly glossy paper is now dull. The cover of the dust jacket has a picture of a rope hanging down the middle which is frayed toward the end. The top of the jacket reads, "A new novel by the author of "What Makes Sammy Run?" The font of this line is in all caps and the words "A" through "of" are in a teal green color, while the title of his previous book is in flourescent orange. The tile of the novel is centered halfway down the jacket. The rope splits the title in half, with "the" on the left and "disenchanted" on the right. Both words are in all lower case and are in a black font. The author's name appears directly below it in all capitals and in the same teal green color as the line on the top of the jacket. The spine of the dust jacket has the same picture of the rope, frayed at the end, and then it reads: the disenchanted | SCHULBERG | [publisher's crest] | RANDOM HOUSE. The title is in black, the author's name in teal, the publisher's crest in flourescent orange, and the publisher's name in teal. The back of the jacket is titled "About Budd Schulberg" and it consists of a very casual, conversational biographical piece written by the author himself. The information is continued on the back inside flap of the jacket and has a picture of the author with his two sons and daughter. The picture is taken by K. Chester. The front inside flap of the jacket has praise for the author and his previous work, What Makes Sammy Run. There also is a short paragraph about the novel. On unmarked page [7] of the book, there are two other novels listed by the author, What Makes Sammy Run and The Harder They Fall. On unmarked page [11] of the book there is a dedication that reads: For Arthur and Rosemary. On unmarked page [12] of the book there is a lengthy quote from Henry James, excerpted from his preface to "The Lesson of the Master and Other Tales." The copy in Special Collections is a part of the Taylor collection and has a bookplate on the inside front cover that reads "William Hillman Wranek". There is a price printed on the inside jacket cover - $3.50. The later printings of the first edition do not have the red gilt on the upper edge of the pages. The first Australian printing is quite different from the first American printing, even though they both were published in 1950. It still has the blue trade cloth binding, but there is no cover art. The spine transcription is as follows: BUDD | SCHULBERG | the disenchanted | [publisher's insignia]. The title is written vertically, and all font is in silver. The title page is transcribed as follows (recto): THE DISENCHANTED | Budd Schulberg | [publisher's insignia]. The verso is the same with the omission of the Random House publishing information and the inclusion of the following: Printed and bound in Australia by Halstead Press Pty Ltd, 9-19 Nickson St, Surry Hills, for Invincible Press, Sydney, Melbourne, Brishane, Adelaide, and New Zealand. | Registered at the G.P.O., Sydney for transmission by post as a book. The title page also has a signature that I could not make out with the date April 1984. The paper of the Australian book is much thinner, but larger. It measures 215 mm by 135 mm, and the text is 166 mm by 100 mm. The pagination is different as well, the numbered pages start at page 1 and go through page 339.
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Random House was the orginal publisher, and by all accounts avaliable they only published one edition. Source: bibliofind.com worldcat.com barnesandnoble.com
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
There is evidence of up to six printings, but the sixth printing indicates it was published in 1952, and there are no other sources that support this. All other sources indicate that publication of the book by the original publisher ceased in 1950. The first edition, first printing was a large one, as there are twenty listings of first printings out of the fifty total listings at bibliofind.com. There is also reference to a book club edition and a limited edition printing - these were separate printings. Source: worldcat.com RLIN bibliofind.com
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Bantam Books, 1952 1950. 406 p.; 17 cm. Bantam Books, 1958. (Paperback) New York: Viking Press, 1975. 388 p.; 21 cm. New York: Donald I. Fine, 1987. 388p.; 21 cm. Sydney: Invincible Press, 1950. 339p.; 21.4 cm. London: Allison & Busby, 1993 1951. 394p. London: New English Library, 1969 1950. 319 p.; 18 cm. Penguin Books, 1960. 395 p.; 19 cm. London: Bodley Head, 1951. 394 p.; 21 cm. Toronto: Random House, 1950. Source: worldcat.com
6 Last date in print?
Both amazon.com and Books in Print indicate that the book is out of print, so the last date it was published was in 1993 by Allison & Busby in London.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
There were 70,000 trade copies sold and 255,000 book club copies sold as of 1975. Source: Hackett, 80 Years of Best Sellers
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
As of 1999 this information was not available.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
The reviews indicated that this book was heavily promoted. Ads were found on the cover of PW on June 17, 1950; a full-page ad on October 29, 1950 in the NYT, on December 10, 1950 in the NYT, and on January 7, 1951 in the NYT. The ads all had the same design as the dust jacket of the book. Portions of the June 17 ad read (and this ad reads as most of the others do), "This book really rates the work 'Perfect'! Better than 'What Makes Sammy Run", it is cut from the same golden cloth. It is a fiercly realistic novel about a bewildered genius whose novels about the 20's hade made those crazy, carefree years seem wonderful. But the 20's died, and he lived on - a tragic figure unable to understand what had happened. This is not only an elegy for one of the great writers of the 20's, but a devastating portrayal of the wild years he caught on paper, and tried to hold."
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
A21019991206151724.jpg
11 Other promotion
There is an interview with the author in the November 5, 1950 edition of the NYT, which is the same week the book enters onto the NYT best-seller list. There is also an article by the author about F. Scott Fitzgerald on the cover of the January 28, 1951 NYT. The novel is supposedly based on the life of F. Scott Fitztgerald.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
The Disenchanted was made into a play by the author in collaberation with Harvey Breit, and the play was published in 1959. However, productions of the play began on December 3, 1958 and ran for 189 performances. The play was off broadway at the Equity Library Theater for nine performances. There is record of a screen play written by Francis Ford Coppola in 1960, but there is no record of a movie. Schulberg, Budd and Harvey Breit. The Disenchanted; A Drama in Three Acts. New York: S. French, 1959, 80p. Sources: Salem's A Guide to Critical Reviews worldcat.com Magill's Survey of Cinema
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
Schulberg, Budd. Der Entzauberte: Roman. [Deutsch von Harry Kahn]. Stuttgart: Diana Verlang, 1954. 440 p. Source: National Union Catalog
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
The book appeared in Omnibook Best-seller Magazine vol. 13, no. 6 (May 1951). It was abridged from the book in the author's own words. Source: worldcat.com
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
There are no sequels/prequels. Source: Books in Series
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Budd Wilson Schulberg, the American novelist, screenwriter, and dramatist, was born on March 27, 1914, in New York, New York. He was the son of Benjamin P. and Adeline (Jaffe) Schulberg. His father was the head of production at Paramount Studios. His father moved the family from New York to Hollywood following World War I. "By 1925 [Benjamin P.] Schulberg, as general manager of the Paramount Famous-Lasky studio, was one of the industry's most powerful figures," writes Richard Fine in a Dictionary of Literary Biography article. "Thus Budd Schulberg witnessed the workings of the movie colony from an early age and a privileged position" (www.galenet.com). He suffered from a speech impediment at an early age, and he claims he believes this is what encouraged him to start writing (World Authors 2345). He married Virginia Ray on July 23, 1936 and divorced her in 1942. He married Victoria Anderson on February 17, 1943, and divorced her in 1964. He married Geraldine Brooks (an actress) on July 12, 1964. She died in 1977. He married Betsy Ann Langman on June 9, 1979. He has five children: Victoria (first marriage); Stephen, David (second marriage); Benn and Jessica (fourth marriage). He attended Dartmouth College and earned in A.B. (cum laude) in 1936. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-46 where he became a lieutenant junior grade. He was assigned to the office of Strategic Service and was awarded an Army Commendation Ribbon for gathering photographic evidence of war crimes for the Nuremberg trials in 1945-46. He is a member of the Authors Guild (new York council member, 1958-60); the Writers Guild East, 1983--; the Authors League of America; the Dramatists Guild; the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP); the American Civil Liberties Union; and Phi Beta Kappa. His home addresses are: Versalles 21, Mexico 6, D.F., Mexico; and Box 707, Westhampton Beach, Long Island, NY 11978. His office is the Schulberg Dorese Agency, 41 West 82nd St., New York, NY 10024. He worked for Sports Illustrated as the boxing editor, as a screenwriter for Samuel Goldwyn, David O. Selznick, and Walter Wanger, Hollywood, CA from 1937-40. He has been a full-time professional writer from 1940 on. He is the president and producer of Schulberg Productions. He is the founder and director, Watts Writer Workshop, in Los Angeles, CA. He is the chairman of the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center, New York, NY, since 1971. He has taught writing courses and conducted workshops at Columbia University, Hofstra University, Dartmouth College, Southampton College, Valley Forge General Hospital and in Watts and Los Angeles, CA. He is a member of the advisory board at the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. He has written six novels, an autobiography, seven screenplays, two plays, several nonfiction works, and many introductions to various novels. He was thirty-six when he wrote his best-selling novel The Disenchanted. His hobbies include fishing, tennis, reading, drinking with friends, jazz, prize-fights, racing pigeons, and family vacations to the Caribbean. He likes all forms of writing, from articles to the motion pictures, but above all he prefers the novel (World Authors 2346). Schulberg commented, "I have been influenced by Mark Twain, by Frank Norris, Jack London, Upton Sinclair, John Steinbeck, and the social novelists. I believe in art, but I don't believe in art for art's sake . . . I believe the novelist should be an artist cum sociologist. I think he should see his characters in social perspective. I think that is one of his obligations. At the same time, I think he has the obligation to entertain. I think the novel should run double track" (www.galenet.com). It is easy to see the influence various factors of Schulberg's life has had on his work, because many, if not all, of his work is based on his experiences and interests. This tends to lend credibility to him as an author and his novels often blur between fiction and fact. Sources: "Budd Schulberg." World Authors 1900-1950. Ed. Martin Seymour-Smith and Andrew C. Kimmens. Vol 4. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1996. "Budd Schulberg." Who's Who in America. Milennium Ed. New Providence: Marquis Who's Who, 1999. "Budd (Wilson) Schulberg." Current Biography: Who's News and Why 1951. Ed. Anna Rothe. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1951. "Budd (Wilson) Schulberg." Gale Literary Databases: Contemporary Authors. Online. The Gale Group. 1 Nov. 1999.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The reviews for Budd Schulberg's The Disenchanted were, for the most part, mixed. Although the reviews on the whole tended to be positive, every review had both criticism and praise for the book. There were several negative reviews, but even those were tempered by accolades for Schulberg's writing style. Whether the reviewer wrote a positive or negative review overall, most of the critiques and commendations were the same. Most reviewers faulted Schulberg for his failure to convince the audience of his main character's past greatness. The novel is a story of Manley Halliday's fall from grace, and many reviewers felt that there was not significant depiction of Halliday's previous status to garner recognition as a tragic character, and that as a result Halliday is portrayed more as pitiful rather than tragic. Almost everyone, however, praises Schulberg in his use of dialogue and his strong form of prose. There is much discussion in the reviews about the strong resemblance of Halliday to Schulberg's friend F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is widely regarded as a loose biography of Schulberg and Fitzgerald's relationship, although Schulberg's refusal to admit this caused a bit of a controversy. "The celebrity aspect is covered, but not the artist, certainly not enough to create full belief. The fall of Halliday seems more pathetic than tragic. For we lack, in the book, the necessary insight with which to comprehend it." -Hollis Alpert, in Saturday Review, October 28, 1950. "His [Schulberg's] pungently drawn characters are dramatically real; they combine to tell a keen, attention-holding tale of modern confusion. The shrewdly bright dialogue rattles off at a fast pace." -Mary Sandrock, in Catholic World, December 1950. "Halliday needs to be tragic rather than pathetic, and he has to be heroic to be tragic. The heroic dimension in him could come only from his genius: we should see not only the destruction of the man, but the blinding of the vision that was presumably in the man." -The Hudson Review, 1951. There is also some discussion about the time period in which the book was set as opposed to when it was written. "The result is one of those novels which are eagerly read for information: to find out what life in Hollywood is like, or what the Jazz Age was like, or what it feels like to be a has-been." -Ernest Jones, in The Nation, November 25, 1950. "The most interesting thing about The Disenchanted is the speculations it inspires in the reader about the differences between the writers of Fitzgerald's generation and the ones living now, the rewards of being a chronicler of one's times, and the shifting in general human values int he last twenty years or so." -Chandler Brossard in The New American Mercury, 1951. Finally, some critics also fault Schulberg for being unable, either because of his youth or inexperience, to be able to chronicle such a literary celebrity as Fitzgerald. "I have a feeling that it is the magnitude of the project, perhaps too large for a man of Mr. Schulberg's talents and experience, which has, in the long run, defeated him." -Hollis Alpert in Saturday Review, October 28, 1950. "Schulberg does not have the necessary sensibility to get into the character of so highly sensitive a writer as Fitzgerald; but he does as well as he can, and his love and loyalty to him are most of the time touching in their sincerity. The several moments of failure are caused by his extreme veneration for the figure of the novelist." -Partisan Review, 1951. Cumulative Reviews: Atlantic, November 1950. Booklist, November 15, 1950. Catholic World, December 1950. Chicago Sunday Tribune, November 5, 1950. Christian Science Monitor, December 7, 1950. College English, 1950. Commonweal, November 10, 1950. Hudson Review, 1951. Library Journal [no date]. The Nation, November 25, 1950. The New American Mercury 1951. Partisan Review, 1951. Saturday Review, October 28, 1950. Play reviews not included.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The reviews for Budd Schulberg's The Disenchanted were, for the most part, mixed. Although the reviews on the whole tended to be positive, every review had both criticism and praise for the book. There were several negative reviews, but even those were tempered by accolades for Schulberg's writing style. Whether the reviewer wrote a positive or negative review overall, most of the critiques and commendations were the same. Most reviewers faulted Schulberg for his failure to convince the audience of his main character's past greatness. The novel is a story of Manley Halliday's fall from grace, and many reviewers felt that there was not significant depiction of Halliday's previous status to garner recognition as a tragic character, and that as a result Halliday is portrayed more as pitiful rather than tragic. Almost everyone, however, praises Schulberg in his use of dialogue and his strong form of prose. There is much discussion in the reviews about the strong resemblance of Halliday to Schulberg's friend F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is widely regarded as a loose biography of Schulberg and Fitzgerald's relationship, although Schulberg's refusal to admit this caused a bit of a controversy. "The celebrity aspect is covered, but not the artist, certainly not enough to create full belief. The fall of Halliday seems more pathetic than tragic. For we lack, in the book, the necessary insight with which to comprehend it." -Hollis Alpert, in Saturday Review, October 28, 1950. "His [Schulberg's] pungently drawn characters are dramatically real; they combine to tell a keen, attention-holding tale of modern confusion. The shrewdly bright dialogue rattles off at a fast pace." -Mary Sandrock, in Catholic World, December 1950. "Halliday needs to be tragic rather than pathetic, and he has to be heroic to be tragic. The heroic dimension in him could come only from his genius: we should see not only the destruction of the man, but the blinding of the vision that was presumably in the man." -The Hudson Review, 1951. There is also some discussion about the time period in which the book was set as opposed to when it was written. "The result is one of those novels which are eagerly read for information: to find out what life in Hollywood is like, or what the Jazz Age was like, or what it feels like to be a has-been." -Ernest Jones, in The Nation, November 25, 1950. "The most interesting thing about The Disenchanted is the speculations it inspires in the reader about the differences between the writers of Fitzgerald's generation and the ones living now, the rewards of being a chronicler of one's times, and the shifting in general human values int he last twenty years or so." -Chandler Brossard in The New American Mercury, 1951. Finally, some critics also fault Schulberg for being unable, either because of his youth or inexperience, to be able to chronicle such a literary celebrity as Fitzgerald. "I have a feeling that it is the magnitude of the project, perhaps too large for a man of Mr. Schulberg's talents and experience, which has, in the long run, defeated him." -Hollis Alpert in Saturday Review, October 28, 1950. "Schulberg does not have the necessary sensibility to get into the character of so highly sensitive a writer as Fitzgerald; but he does as well as he can, and his love and loyalty to him are most of the time touching in their sincerity. The several moments of failure are caused by his extreme veneration for the figure of the novelist." -Partisan Review, 1951. Cumulative Reviews: Atlantic, November 1950. Booklist, November 15, 1950. Catholic World, December 1950. Chicago Sunday Tribune, November 5, 1950. Christian Science Monitor, December 7, 1950. College English, 1950. Commonweal, November 10, 1950. Hudson Review, 1951. Library Journal [no date]. The Nation, November 25, 1950. The New American Mercury 1951. Partisan Review, 1951. Saturday Review, October 28, 1950. Play reviews not included.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Kacey Chappelear Budd Schulberg's The Disenchanted is a complicated story of a previously famous author who has lived past his prime. Forced to subsist on the meagerest of incomes, he finally deems it necessary to go into the dreaded medium of screen-writing - the author's wasteland. His contempt at his own inability to regain the gift that used to flow so easily from his then sharp mind is coupled with the absolute necessity with which he needs this income. The Disenchanted was published in 1950 by Random House Publishing Company. The story, however, is set in the 1930's. Much of the book's most important moments are those in which the main character, Manley Halliday, has vivid flashbacks to his former fast-paced life. These flashbacks revel in the glamour and glitz of the Twenties. Consequently, the book must convince its 1950's audience to travel back in time and appreciate those bygone decades; not with the harsh eye of wiser years, but with the softened lens of a character who has experienced the greatness of that time and lost it. The popularity of The Disenchanted is a culmination of a plethora of factors. The changes in the popularity of the cinema combined with both the nostalgic look at the Twenties and the reputation for the famous F. Scott Fitzgerald, on whom the book is supposedly based, brought about the large sales that allowed the book to top the best sellers list for eight weeks. Hollywood in the 1950's was on the decline. Film audiences plummeted - the numbers dropped from 82 million viewers in 1946 to 36 million in 1950 (The Fifties: The Way We Really Were 314). The producer David Selznick said in 1951, "Hollywood's like Egypt, full of crumbling pyramids. It'll never come back. It'll just keep on crumbling until finally the wind blows the last studio prop across the sands" (The Fifties: The Way We Really Were 314). The film industry cited labor troubles, higher production costs, adverse court rulings, and highly publicized anticommunist hearings for the backslide. This recent fall in favor by the cinema had widespread repercussions. First and foremost, with Americans spending less time at the movies they had more time for other leisure activities. This is clearly illustrated by the fact that more money was spent on fishing tackle or on bowling than at the cinema in 1950 (The Fifties: The Way We Really Were 315). With the latest developments in television technology, Americans were spending more time at home. Television in 1950 was an established part of American culture, but what television lacked was the famous Hollywood sense of over-the-top glamour. Consequently, with the breakdown of the movies and rise in television watching, Americans were quite possibly hungry to hear news of the captivating Hollywood of the past. With the lapse in attendance at movies came the demise of the old film-making system. There was no longer the Hollywood of big studios, glamorous stars, formalized plots, packaged dreams, or predictable profits (The Fifties: The Way We Really Were 314). One of the most perceptive and popular movies of the 1950's, Sunset Boulevard, illustrated this very clearly. Sunset Boulevard told the story of the death of the Hollywood that America had so admired up until that time. The movie portrayed a faded silent star from the Twenties who lived wholly on past glories and present delusions. Her existence was seeped in decay and corruption (The Fifties: The Way We Really Were 315). This story models that of Manley Halliday in The Disenchanted almost exactly. The Disenchanted, like Sunset Boulevard, allowed for readers to see once again the lush and extravagant Hollywood of previous years through the various flashbacks Halliday has into the roaring Twenties and the tales of such excess and freedom. One such example of this, as illustrated in The Disenchanted; "Everyone was getting drunk. Accents slipped off. Men's hands moved with practiced stealth under gowns hospitably knee-length. Words bumped into each other and coupled like little box-cars. Mild attractions suddenly flamed to irresistible passions; minor irritations flamed to violent hatreds" (The Disenchanted 228). It was this world, so outside of the 1950's adherence to family values and life in the suburbs that attracted readers. With Hollywood in dissolution and the recent societal pressures to conform to an ever stricter norm, Americans were forced to look into the past to draw on the sensationalism of earlier times. This nostalgia for the Twenties is exemplified when Halliday himself is remembering back to those times, "Hollywood was - a lot crazier then than it is now - more of a factory town now. But in those days it was - it had the quality of a vulgar fairy land. There were wonderful parties that lasted for days and there was a nice sense of sin that's only found in worlds of true innocence" (The Disenchanted 214). Therefore, this sentimentality for the Twenties can perhaps be understood as a significant influence on the success of The Disenchanted. It was not only the decline of Hollywood, however, that provoked the interest of Americans into the Twenties, but many other factors as well. Most literature written about the Fifties serves to highly contrast the Fifties with the Twenties. The youth of the 1950's no longer had a fear of depression, but rather a fear of war. Hardly any of the youth wanted to go into the Army; there was little enthusiasm for military life and no enthusiasm for war, unlike in the 1920's. The main concern of the 1950's generation was the ability to find a good, steady job (The 1950's: America's Placid Decade 4). In the years following the traumatic experiences of the Depression and World War II, the American Dream was to exercise personal freedom, not necessarily in social and political terms, but rather in economic ones. Eager to be part of the blossoming middle class, young men and women opted for material well-being, particularly if it came with some form of guaranteed employment (The Fifties x). This is consistent with the steady outpouring of people to the suburbs and the persistent myth of the 1950's family. Some people believe the youth of the 1950's were not as outspoken as those of the 1920's because of the very different manners in which the idea of youth was treated with respect to the differing decades. The youth of the 20's were rebelling against the new-found conservatism forced on them by their parents in the aftermath of World War I. The youth of the 1950's, however, were faced with a growing sentimentality of behalf of their parent's generation which tended to idealize youth and tended to place few restrictions on it (Placid 22). The "flaming youth" of the 1920's was denounced by their parents and later generations, but their flashy ways eventually became a source of amusement for those in the 1950's. "To the present [1950's] war-hardened crop their excesses sound as quaint as the stylized indiscretions of Restoration comedy" (Placid 14). With this attitude it is not surprising that a book written in the 1950's, set in the 1930's, about nostalgia for the 1920's was a bestseller. It appealed to the generation of the 1950's because it was so different. Shep Stearns, Halliday's much younger collaborator, laments,
". . . a palace of silver that turns out to be only papier mache covered with tin foil that peels off in the first real storm. Just the same, just the same. To think even for a moment that your house was built of silver. To be able to romanticize, even for a moment, about the wool you pulled even over your own eyes, while at the same time knowing exactly what you were doing and what it was doing to you, to hold it up to the fluoroscope, diagnose it, find it suffering from high stock pressure, hardening of the material arteries, cirrhosis of the spirit - and predict its death. And then to mourn at the bedside like the doctor who has also been the lover, himself fatally infected" (The Disenchanted 386).
This fanciful outlook of the people in the 1920's coupled with the disillusion of the 1950's generation perhaps allowed a wistful remembrance of easier times. The need to find a steady job was not of importance in the 1920's. What was important was parties, glamour, alcohol, and celebration. It is strange, though, that Stearns is also quick to point out how productive the Twenties were in terms of quality literature. He defends the Twenties while simultaneously appearing to criticize their excess. He says,
"What a jolly, irresponsible year 1925 must have been, with stocks going up, gin going down and nothing more serious to worry about than this morning's hangover. And yet, as Halliday had pointed out, it wasn't all glitter, jitter, and right-off-the-boat. There was that serious work, damned hard work and damned good work; strange how the decade that had made a virtue or irresponsibility produced more responsible artists than any American decade before or since" (The Disenchanted 54).
It appears that all of this, both the criticism and the respect for literary works, allows the audience to look back with fond memories towards the earlier times without feeling the guilt that is sometimes associated with irresponsibility. The audience, and the author, consequently attributed some kind of academic value to the seemingly reckless and irresponsible 1920's. The role of women in the 1950's also allowed both reminiscence and critique of other phenomenon of the 1920's, specifically the women of the Twenties. In an article in Time in the 1950's, it says,
"There is every evidence that women have not been made happy by their ascent to power. They are dressed to kill in femininity. The bosom is back; hair is longer again; office telephones echo with more cooing voices than St. Mark's Square at pigeon-feeding time. The career girl is not ready to admit that all she want is to get married; but she has generally retreated from the brassy advance post of complete flat-chested emancipation, to the position that she would life, if possible, to have a marriage and a career, both" (Placid 4).
Women in the 1950's were struggling to find their place in society - forced by World War II to become involved in the workplace but then shunned away from positions of responsibility when men returned home, the women of the Fifties were faced with a complicated social role. The aggressive female persona was to be avoided, and women were encouraged to be submissive and obedient. The vibrant Hollywood starts of the Forties, such as Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis and others who frequently portrayed strong-willed, career-minded heroines all but disappeared in the Fifties (The Fifties: The Way We Really Were 328). Schulberg's novel appeals to many people who wish to interpret the role of women however they wish. Women can idealize and look up to Jere, Halliday's wife, because to them she represents a care-free, ambitious, individual woman - quite possibly the woman they wish they could be. An instance of Jere's outrageous character is demonstrated in the conversation she has with Manley shortly after they meet,
"She looked at him playfully. 'It's half past five, my lipstick's smeared, my hair's a mess, I'm two-thirds blotto, I feel older than Elsie Janis' mother - and you still want to come up?' 'I'm a very determined young man.' 'Oh, dear, and I'm a very undetermined young woman. That's dangerous.' She turned her lips to him at last, but almost in a taunting way. It made him want to kiss her brutally, to stop this incessant playing. For a moment their kiss was the only reality. But as suddenly as she had offered her lips she withdrew them again. 'People who close their eyes when they dance always close their eyes when they kiss.' Ready for her to go limp in his arms, he was furious" (The Disenchanted 142).
This kind of reckless behavior was appealing to women who might have felt stifled in their new roles in the 1950's. Men could point out, however, that eventually Jere is destroyed by her excessive life-style and is forced to spend the remainder of her days in a mental institution of sorts. Thus, Schulberg allows his novel, by portrayal of the fantastic character of Jere and her subsequent decline, to appeal to a larger audience - those who can regard Jere as a heroine and those who condemn her actions. Jere, however, is not by any means the only character of which there was great interest. Manley Halliday, the subject of the novel, also received quite a bit of press from reviewers and readers alike. The Disenchanted is supposedly the based on the author F. Scott Fitzgerald, although Budd Schulberg firmly denies it. However, it is true that at one time Schulberg and Fitzgerald worked together on a college musical, and this is indeed the plot of the novel. The majority of critics have assumed that the piece is biographical, and in most descriptions of the novel it mentions that it is based on the life of Fitzgerald. This mystery compounded with the respect that the 50's generation held for Fitzgerald could have only helped to bolster sales. Fitzgerald, it is widely agreed, was held in esteem by members of the 1950's generation. He seemed to be able to clarify the various anxieties of the 50's youth, such as draft boards and war; especially in his book Tender is the Night (Placid 24). It is interesting to note, however, that Fitzgerald, if placed in the 1950's, would have nothing to write about, since prosperity amongst the young (a favorite subject of his) was then commonplace. Budd Schulberg's public persona was very high profile. He was born the son of a Hollywood producer, and he often recounts the wild parties his parents had with the Hollywood stars of the time in attendance. Schulberg briefly became a member of the Communist party at the age of 24, but he became disillusioned with the party when they began to criticize his earlier book, What Makes Sammy Run. In 1951, Schulberg cooperated with the House Un-American Committee, where he named 17 people he had once known in the party. Since this is at the same point in time that The Disenchanted was riding high on the best-sellers list, one can imagine that the increased publication of Schulberg's name and the simultaneous identification of him as a "true" American led to increased sale of his novel. This helps to explain the success of the novel even though it didn't quite fit the mold of other bestsellers of the 1950's. For the most part, the bestsellers of the 1950's exemplified middle class and melodrama through plot, character, incident and symbol. A common thread in these bestsellers is the constant triumph of emotion over reason. The reader is always being urged to follow his or her heart rather than his or her head in important matters. This emphasis of emotion is not particular to the 1950's, but because of the history of the time, with the outbreak of anti-intellectual fervor surrounding Senator McCarthy, Americans were ripe for such thinking. Other characteristics of bestsellers of the 1950's include and emphasis on the imposition of problems rather than conditions of the individual. This allows for the problem to be corrected by a great deal of self-examination on behalf of the individual. The final value that is characteristic of 1950's bestsellers is that the ordinary man can become a hero, or at least exhibit extraordinary capacity in a crisis (Necessary American Fiction 3). The Disenchanted, however, doesn't seem to really embody any of these qualities. However, with the various reasons as explained above, the attraction to Hollywood, the nostalgia for the Twenties, the portrayal of women, and the combination of the famous subject matter and the author, The Disenchanted seems to have been able to offer a refreshing change from the other bestsellers of the decade. Halliday himself sums up the false convictions behind the typical bestseller,
" ' Too easy,' Manley said. 'Always too easy.' His eyes were almost closed and it hardly seemed possible that he could be concentrating. 'Your high morality on writers, that goes on all the time in America. Y'know why?' He was signaling the waiter for another drink. 'American idea of success. Nothing fails like success. Write one bestseller here, on hit play, Big Success. Do one thing, get rich 'n famous. Writers get caught up in American system. Ballyhoo. Cocktail parties. Bestseller list. Worship of Success' " (The Disenchanted 180).
Thus, even in his own bestselling book Schulberg seems to mock the American ideal of success and presents a book, that in spite of being different from most bestsellers of the decade, rises to the very success which the author himself seems to view as the means to his own demise. Sources Darby, William. Necessary American Fiction: Popular Literature of the 1950's.Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1987. Halberstam, David. The Fifties. New York: Villard Books, 1993. Marling, Karal Ann. As Seen on TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950's. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994. Miller, Douglas T., and Marion Nowak. The Fifties: The Way We Really Were. New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1977. The Impact of War on American Life: The Twentieth-Century Experience. Ed. Keith L. Nelson. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc., 1971. The 1950's: America's "Placid" Decade. Ed. Joseph Satin. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1960. Schulberg, Budd. The Disenchanted. New York: Random House, 1950.
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