Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

The First Biennial John Dos Passos Society Conference

On October 10-11, the John Dos Passos Society met for a riveting series of inquiries into the Dos Passos legacy of literature and art. The topics were varied and fascinating. They included: Dean Bartholomew (Independent Scholar) on the fractured friendship between Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos. Rosa Maria Bautisa Cordero (Universidad Alfonso X El… Read more »

Four Generations of Dos Passos Writers

I’m grateful to my grandfather for so boldly enunciating his heritage in his memoirs, The Best Times. He discusses his father, John Randolph Dos Passos, and his grandfather, Manuel Dos Passos. It isn’t the details of the family tree; it’s the statement of priorities that speaks me. He writes of the grief he feels in… Read more »

Spain and Dos Passos, Continued

It’s testament to the beauty of Spanish culture that the memory of its people still lingers fondly in my mind. The many learnings and friendships developed during my recent trip have continued to pay out rich benefits. With the help of new friends, including talented translator Álvaro Domínguez, my original English-language article on Dos Passos… Read more »

John Dos Passos and Spain

About a month ago, I visited Spain to contribute to a new documentary–currently in post-production–on my grandfather’s role in reporting on the Spanish Civil War and his friendship with Spanish writer and translator José Robles. The documentary is directed by Sonia Tercero Ramiro and produced by Time Zone Productions out of Madrid. It will air… Read more »

Reconsidering “They Are Dead Now”

At the recent American Literature Association annual conference in Washington, DC, Victoria M. Bryan–co-founder of the John Dos Passos Society–delivered an innovative speech on John Dos Passos’s “They Are Dead Now.” Her talk below eloquently asks us to consider the relevance of the JDP canon to the prison classroom. Enjoy: Close Reading “They Are Dead… Read more »

John Dos Passos Society Conference

First Biannual John Dos Passos Society Conference   Chattanooga, TN   October 17-18, 2014       The John Dos Passos Society invites papers for its first biennial conference.  Prompted by the centennial of The Great War, a formative event in Dos Passos’s life and career, this conference will facilitate discussion of the author’s responses… Read more »

My Dos Passos Connection: Lisa Nanney

Literary scholar Lisa Nanney, author of John Dos Passos Revisited (MacMillan/Twayne, 1998), has generously shared her connection to the Dos Passos legacy: Like so many other readers, I first read Dos Passos in a course—a graduate seminar in Politics and the Novel.  There, in the 1980s, I discovered in U.S.A. novels that confronted issues urgent to… Read more »

Hotel Florida

Today is publication day for Amanda Vaill’s new nonfiction book, Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War. As I understand it, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos are key figures in the story. I have ordered my copy and I look forward to the author’s event at Politics & Prose in Washington,… Read more »

My Dos Passos Connection: Lucy Dos Passos Coggin

  My mother, Lucy Dos Passos Coggin, provides a personal reflection on one of my grandfather’s most precious paintings… Staying at Haiti’s Hotel Oloffson  There is something jaunty about the striped awning in my father’s painting of the famous old Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The tropical foliage and romantic cupola evoke an air of… Read more »

Dos Passos in Florida

This article reports that my grandfather visited the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida. I don’t know of any such visit. I can’t confirm. But I do know that he made a significant walking trek through Florida in 1924–perhaps hist first major trip to the Sunshine State. Dos Passos called Florida “fabulous and… Read more »

The Great American Novel: “GAN”

Here is Smith College Professor Michael Gorra’s review of The Dream of the Great American Novel by Lawrence Buell. The new book includes Dos Passos’s U.S.A. in its discussion of literary works with national themes.

Dos Passos Reports on the “Bonus Army,” 1932

A family member shared this Library of America blog post with me.  It concerns my grandfather’s writing on the “Bonus Army” encampment in Washington, DC in 1932. His essay on the marchers was printed in the book, In All Countries, found in Library of America’s edition of collected travel writings. Here is an excerpt: Anacostia… Read more »

Eyes on U.S.A.

Sales of Library of America’s edition of Dos Passos’s U.S.A. jumped 30 percent last year. The book was ranked number 15 on Library of America’s bestseller list. Read more here. Hard work made this legacy-building possible. Profound thanks for the John Dos Passos Society, web designer James Walker, and writer Miguel Oliveira.  

JDP Connections: Donald Pizer

For the third entry in our web series, retitled as “Dos Passos Connections,” we have a statement from Donald Pizer, Pierce Butler Professor of English Emeritus at Tulane University.Most recently, Pizer published the book, Toward a Modernist Style: John Dos Passos. The article below is a wonderful reflection on the reading life. My first reading… Read more »

Recent Review of U.S.A.

      An interesting new critical appraisal of U.S.A. at The Rumpus. I concur with the reviewer’s insistence that today’s social media universe is an expansion and reflection of the media world in U.S.A. The Newsreel segments are quite reminiscent of a Twitter feed. What’s more–the original edition of U.S.A. was interspersed with pencil… Read more »

Dos Passos and Faulkner

I’ve never researched the Dos Passos-Faulkner relationship, personal and professional, at length. What I do know from my general biographical knowledge is that there was a strong professional respect between the authors. When Dos Passos was awarded the Gold Medal for Fiction from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Faulkner remarked of Dos, “Nobody… Read more »

Slang in the Dos Passos Oeuvre

The fictional works of Dos Passos present a plethora of American slang. Street talk is an essential components of his most popular masterworks: Manhattan Transfer, U.S.A., and Three Soldiers. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a couple expressions from his books. “Hell of a note” was evidently a conversational hallmark… Read more »

Why John Dos Passos Matters: Miguel Oliveira

We are continuing our series on “Why John Dos Passos Matters” with a 2nd entry. Here, Miguel Oliveira–author, scholar, and historian–offers his perspective on Dos Passos’s art in a passage called “John Dos Passos the Cinematographer.” We are pleased to share his contribution and we wish him the best as he tours in support of… Read more »

Our Web Designer James L. Walker

The high aesthetic value of this website is thanks to the artistry of James Walker, professional web and graphics designer. Jim has a great eye for lines, color, and all other principles of visual arts. In our hyper-speed digital age, there are few artists who have the discipline to plan long-term projects. Jim is the… Read more »

Happy New Year, Happy Birthday JDP

January 14, my grandfather’s birthday, is a great time to review recent Dos Passos news and ongoing projects. Happy New Year and Happy Birthday John Dos Passos! On December 24, 2013, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published the first Amazon Kindle versions of the three individual volumes of John Dos Passos‘s U.S.A. Washington Independent Review of Books… Read more »