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Louis Adamic Key Words by SE T

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Laughing in the Jungle 1932 --------

My life in America has been largely an adventure in understanding,and these people - foreign-born and native American - and their histories have been a vital factor in that adventure.

@gTheykimmigrantlgo because each thinks that he will get the better of America and not America the better of him.They listen to the few who return home from the United States with two or three thousand dollars.They hear that some one else who stayed there has succeeded on a big scale.And they think they will do the same.America is the Land of Promise to them.She lures them over by the thousands and hundreds of thousands - people from many countries,not only from Carniola.She needs their hands even more than they need her dollars,and makes use of them.Once upon a time immigrants were called edungf in America; that was a good name for them.They were the fertilizer feeding the roots of Americafs present and future greatness.They are still edung.fThe roots of Americafs greatness still feed on themc.Life in America is a scramble.More people are swept under than rise to riches.h

@gcMuch of ourkimmigrantlwork and our strength is frozen in the buildings of New Yorkand in the buildings of other citiesand in the railroads and bridges of Americach

@gEverything strives to grow,to get the better of the next thing-thousands and millions of small things combine to ruin a big thing,and vice versa-chaos-jungle-democracy:and wefre supposed to be fighting to make it safe for the world!cBut,hell!ccAmerica:what a grotesque,fantastic place! A jungle,indeed.h

cwhere Success is a religion,a fanaticism;where achievement is measured,for the most part,in terms of dollars and cents;where everyone is supposed to be the equal of the next man and as such entitled to the same privileges;where the economic,social,and educational system are arranged as to produce multitudes of failures of the sorricst,most pathetic varietiesc.

I had not come to America,like Steve Radin,to become rich ;nor,like Koska,to escape from myself or something or other; nor, like most mmigrants, to slave at whatever task I could find. Rather, I had come to experience America, to explore the great jungle, to adventure in understanding--and here I was.

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Robinson Jeffers A Portrait 1929 --------

Critics -glocal people,has he calls them - eager to do justice to Jeffersfsignificance as a poet, try to establish a kinship between his work and Whitmanfs.Their eagerness is justified, but wild.Whitmanfs and Jeffersfstatures as poets may stand comparisons,but aside from their sizes they are as unlike as day and night. Indeed, the emergence of Jeffers, and that he is hailed as a major poet and prophet, is a severe commentary upon Whitmanfs dream of America.

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@The Nativefs Return 1934 --------

Gradually, I realized what I had dimly known in my boyhood,that,next to agriculture, Slovenia's leading industry was Culture.

"Your grandfather, Loyzecwhen he diedche saidc, 'Living is like licking honeyclicking honey off a thorn.'"

"......In America, in the cities at least,Death is a gangster who puts one on the spot, then-bang! In America, he doesn't carry a scythe, but a sawed-off shotgun."

"....America can't become another, vastly larger Slovenia. It's too late for that;....but there must be some other way for a great nation to make peace with its environment, and then work out of its circumstances a stout philosophy and attitude, which would enable them to die as well as these peasants die..."

There is no feminist movement in Yugoslavia such as we know in America or England but ccThey hear of sex equality in Russia and believe that only drastic government action initiated by farsighted,consistent social engineers can liquidate the archaic system which keeps two or three million women in Yugoslavia on the social level of domestic animals.

gWe have contributed to America's greatness not only with our brawn,but with our brains as well:our genius.Nikola Tesla and Michael Pupin are Yugoslavs.Their inventions doubtless are the most important factors in the modern life of the United States.Tens of millions of electrical horsepower are generated in the United States by the Tesla motors every year;and but Professor Pupin's inventions,our telephony would be less efficient. ............ g We have worked hard,millions of us,and our achievements remain.There are buildings,bridges,railroads.There are Tesla motors and Pupin's system of long distance telephony.All that is good.It is a permanent contribution to America and the rest of the world....

gI guess my job in the next few years,perhaps for the rest of my life,will be to harp on that idea -and,incidentally,so far as it is within my ability,to interpret my old country to America.I love Yugoslavia and I think Americans should be interested in it - should try to understand its problems and its importance (with the rest of the Balkans and eastern Europe) in the international situation -should appreciate the intrinsic worth of its people and thus perceive how it happened that we have contributed so much to the greatness of the United Statesc.h

@There was a touch of spring in the air.The birds were flying back from the south.Carniola looked very lovelyc.Near the track,as our train sped Trieste-ward,we saw a peasant plowing.He looked like my brother Stan,tall,husky,bent over the plow-handles.There was a great dignity in his taskc..As we passed him he reached the end of a furrow.He glanced up and wavedc.I had an enormous lump in my throat.

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Dynamite 1934, revised edition of 1931 --------

In fine,the American working class will be violent until the workers become revolutionary in their minds and motives and organize their revolutionary spirit into force?into unions with revolutionary aims to power.Then they will be able to afford to dispense with such violence as has been described in this book.

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Grandsons 1935 --------

cSecond generation Americans,children of immigrants of most nationalities,had a tendency to feel ashamed of their parents and repudiate their racial background,to draw away from people of their own blood;while third generation Americans,the immigrantsfgrandchildren,tended very strongly to return--or,rather,to seek out people of their racial strains and discover their backgroundsc.He was shadowy,a shadow-person,no reality under or about him,just moving over the scene irrelevantlyc.

@chuman America is chopped up into numerous racial,class,and cultural islands surrounded by vague seas,with scant connection and communication among them.The old Melting Pot or Crucible idea has not been carried out any too well.Human America is poorly integrated,and I am for integration and homogeneity,for the disappearance of the now sharply defined,islandlike groups,and the gradual,organic merging of all the races and nations now in the United States on the politico-cultural pattern laid out by the earliest immigrants to this continent and their descendants.Hence my entrance into this quarrel with the alien-baiters.

@My America 1938 --------

I am a student who is his own teacher,a finder-out,one who is trying to get at the truth about things and making an effort to understand themc.I want to be,to do something,to spend myself for something.

...America was a Land Nobody Knew.

gCommunism gave them hope of a better future;perhaps erroneously,but hope,which filled them,made them stand up as men,enabled them to endure prison,hunger,and torture.It gave them character and personality,a staunch integrity.c.h

......Cleary,I was an American from Slovenia,or a Slovenian who came to America and became an American.By coming to the United States and becoming an American writer,I had jumped the boundaries and restrictions,the profound and elaborate pettiness,of the Old World.I was of two worlds,which met in that blizzard on the Iron Range in Minnesota,in Cleveland and elsewhere--not perfectly,but still,they met:America and Slovenia.

The chief and most important fact (the only one I shall stress here) about the New Americans is that all too many of them are oppressed by feelings of inferiority in relation to their fellow-citizens of older stock,to the main stream of American life,and to the problem of life as a whole;which,of course,is bad for them as individuals,but,......even worse for the country.P211

gI am an ex-alien who became an American citizen while in the United States Army during the [First] World War,and the views expressed here are only my own.I represent no one and nothing except,I hope,a certain emotion for this land of my adoption which is an amalgam of love and hope,and on which I have no monopoly....

g...I am deeply mindful of the fact that [over] one-third of our population is of recent,largely non-Anglo-Saxon immigrant stock,the beginning of whose background in this country is Ellis Island rather than [Jamestown or] Plymouth Rock.I belong to this numerous new element,but I am for the whole of present-day America,not as something that is finished and satisfactory...but as material out of which the future has to be wrought,as something in the process of becoming....

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America is a process-long-endless.

In regard to America,however,I was on m return essentially where I had been before my trip.My year abroad had convinced me that America was different-was not Russia of 1917,was not Yugoslavia of 1933.It was America involved in consitions many of which were peculiarly her own.As I have said,I was deeply glad to be back.....By and by I decided that my "side" was to keep America different.--

@......you know my feeling and idea about the Long Road.it is the American way ,and I want to see that Road kept open.I want to keep what lights there are along it burning,and I want to see more of them lighted......I want America eventually to become a work of art.

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A YOUNG AMERICAN WITH A JAPANESE FACE 1940 --------

gI saw it this way : we are of the most recent immigration,and so still in the acute stage of adjustment to the country, as the country is,in turn,in that stage in relation to us.We have our problem,to be sure ; but what can we expect?
We are marginal people,but more important than fact is the need for us to see that we are that naturally.To cease being marginal,we must proceed from this realization,the only point from which we can proceed.We must look both within and outside ourselves,especially for the good and weak things within us.We must start working against our disadvantages
cwhich,to repeat,are perfectly normal : but their being normal does not mean we need to put up with them.In America it means the exact opposite.It means we must try to overcome them.If we try,we will do something.We must prove ourselves.All the people,groups and individuals,who came here had to prove themselves.We must stand up and face the situation,and not withdraw from it and lie down,or sneak around it with various dodgesc.h

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PLYMOUTH ROCK AND ELLIS ISLAND,1940

The future,ours as the world's,is in unity within diversity.our various back grounds are important and valuable,but,in the long run,not in themselves,not as something perfect and final.They are important and valuable only as material for our future American culture.as I say,we have a chance to create a universal,a pan-human culture,more satisfying than anything humanity has as yet devised or experienced.......The American Dream is a lovely thing,but to keep it alive,to keep it from turning into a Nightmare,every once in a while we've got to wake up.

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@From Many Land,1940 --------

...a new consciousness of America,of ourselves as people made up of over fifty races and nationalities.....a new Americanization idea which will recognize and accept,not merely tolerate,the various national and racial groups as such;which will see the desirability of diversity in our population:which will take a firm stand against alien-baiting and insist that the immigrant citizens and their American-born children belong here as much as the old-stock Americans because this is their America as much a anybody's;which will help all the citizens to identify themselves with the United States:and which will,thus,work toward national unity-against fear in our national life-toward gradual assimilation or cultural fusion that will operate naturally,not one way,but in many directions.p308@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Preface of From Many Land,1940 --------

My purpose,as you know,is to begin exploring our American cultural past and to urge the cultivation of its many common fields,not nostalgically,or historically or academically,but imaginatively and creatively,with eyes to the future,untill as a people we find and dare to sink our roots into our common American subsoil,rich,sun-warmed and well watered,from which we still many grow and flower.

Can you isolate the so-called Negro Problem from the entire racial-cultural problem in America? Isnft it part of the same vast complexity which involves us all and is a matter of general prejudice and intolerance,of ignorance and fear?

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From Many Land,1940@p.301 -------

Melting Pot is a poor phrase and concept. It means everybody is to be turned into something else with heart. The future, ours and the world's, is in unity within diversity. Our various backgrounds are important and valuable, but, in the long run, not in themselves, not as something perfect and final. They are important and valuable only as material for our future American culture. As I say, we have a chance to create a universal, a pan-human culture, more satisfying than anything humanity has as yet devised or experienced. The American Dream is a lovely thing, but to keep it alive, to keep it from turning onto a Nightmare, every once in while we've got to wake up.

Two Way Passage 1942 --------

For one thing,the IndianseinvadedfWashington caring signs like: eWHY DONfT YOU ALL GO BACK,YOU DEAN FURRINERS? LET THE BUFFALO GRAZE AGAIN!

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A Nation Of Nations --------

cHere min the Statesn at last is something in the doings of man that corresponds with the broadcast doings of day and night.Here is not merely a nation but a teeming nation of nationsc.-Walt Whitman,Preface to 1855 Edition of Leaves of Grass.

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The New Palestine,November28,1942 --------

I am for a free Jewish homeland in Palestine which is not anything exclusive and separate but a part of a world organized upon the basis of an intense consciousness of all peoplefs interdependence and also for a free Slovenia,a free Croatia,and a free Serbia in a free Balkan or southeast-European confederation in a free United Europe,which is part of a free World State.

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There is a certain blend of courage, integrity, character and principle which has no satisfactory dictionary name but has been called different things at different times in different countries. Our American name for it is "guts."

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My Native Land ,1943 --------

Death to Fascism! Liberty to the People!

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My Native Land ,1943 --------

I have in me a sort of peasant resistance to influences of all sorts.

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"A Study in Courage" 1944 --------

"There is a certain blend of courage, integrity, character and principle which has no satisfactory dictionary name but has been called different things at different times in different countries. Our American name for it is Guts."

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The Eagle and The Roots ,1952 --------

gFreedom - honesty,hI said;gthere's almost nothing more difficult for writers to achieve and practice than that.In America,too.Especially in a period like this.Especially freedom and honesty together.There are various definitions of each.But to hell with it!h-in English. gIfm in no shape to go into all that.h

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‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

@gAdamic not only sees deeply into current American social phenomena,but he studies the lives of individual living in American with equal clarity,h --------Carry McWilliams

gche did more to call attention to ethnic values and dramatize what he called ethe secondary consequencesfof immigration than any other American of his time.h --------Carry McWilliams

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The episode of DYNAMITE:

@ To be continued.@

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@Laughing In the Jungle

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@@Laughing in the Jungle 1932 --------

My notion of the United States then,and for a few years after,was that it a grand,amazing,somewhat fantastic place--the golden country--a sort of Paradise --the Land of Promise in more ways than one--huge beyond conception,thousands of miles across the ocean,untellably exciting,explosive,quite incomparable to the tiny,quite,lovely Carniola....

In America everything was possible.There even the common people were "citizen,"not "subject,"as they wrere in Austria and in most other European countries.

"Theykimmigrantlgo because each thinks that he will get the better of America and not America the better of him.They listen to the few who return home from the United States with two or three thousand dollars.They hear that some one else who stayed there has succeeded on a big scale.And they think they will do the same.America is the Land of Promise to them.She lures them over by the thousands and hundreds of thousands - people from many countries,not only from Carniola.She needs their hands even more than they need her dollars,and makes use of them.Once upon a time immigrants were called 'dung' in America; that was a good name for them.They were the fertilizer feeding the roots of America's present and future greatness.They are still 'dung.' The roots of America's greatness still feed on themc.Life in America is a scramble.More people are swept under than rise to riches."

"cMuch of ourkimmigrantlwork and our strength is frozen in the buildings of New York€and in the buildings of other cities€and in the railroads and bridges of Americac"

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My life in America has been largely an adventure in understanding,and these people - foreign-born and native American - and their histories have been a vital factor in that adventure.

I said to her that I would like to lay my hands on "a real book."......
"What do you mean--'a real book'? "
I said."Oh-- a real book--not anything like Horatio Alger."

She spoke in very good croatian..."...Life was too cruel here,America is big and terrible...America must become great,...We all came over from the Old country to help America became great and terrible."
"Dung,"I thought to myself.

"Everything strives to grow,to get the better of the next thing-thousands and millions of small things combine to ruin a big thing,and vice versa-chaos-jungle-democracy:and we're supposed to be fighting to make it safe for the world!cBut,hell!ccAmerica:what a grotesque,fantastic place! A jungle,indeed."

cwhere Success is a religion,a fanaticism;where achievement is measured,for the most part,in terms of dollars and cents;where everyone is supposed to be the equal of the next man and as such entitled to the same privileges;where the economic,social,and educational system are arranged as to produce multitudes of failures of the sorricst,most pathetic varietiesc.

A light rain had fallen during the night and the streets were frozen. Turning a corner somewhere in the Twenties near Third Avenue, I came to a slight incline where a teamster for all he was worth in an attempt to make them pull up the slippery grade. Sparks flew from under the hooves; straining themselves and unable to hold ground, the animals were falling@to their knees, making scarcely any progress; and as the wagon shook over the cobbles, little pieces of coal dropped onto the streets. They were@immediately picked up by two small girls clad, so far as I could see, in threadbare torn dresses that barely reached to their knees--and I was cold in my heavy army overcoat! They were immigrants' children, no doubt. Obviously, they were rivals, each belonging to a different family, for a piece of coal no sooner struck the street than they both rushed for it like two famished animals for a bit of food, frequently endangering their lives by crawing under the wagon.

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I belived that,if such an awakening occurred,it probably would begin with the immigrants and their children--Hunkies,the Jews,the dagoes,the Germans,and others.

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...Hardly anything so tangible is typical of America.There is no typical American.As I say,America is a land of swift changes...not of types or typical things or events...

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I had not come to America,like Steve Radin,to become rich ;nor,like Koska,to escape from myself or something or other;nor,like most mmigrants,to slave at whatever task I could find.Rather,I had come to experience America,to explore the great jungle, to adventure in understanding--and here I was.I had found the adventure exciting and worth while;and there was more to come.

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True,the border of "Coolidge prosperity" and other influences seem to have reduced the greater part of the American masses to a piggish indifference that is not safely commonplace; but underneath the deadness moves a tide of dissatisfaction with the more obvious characteristics of American life,a blind will to overcome the blight (or whatever one may be inclined to call the combination of anarchic Big Business,Democracy,and organized Christianity) that is responsible for the mediocre quality of American civilization.The tide may not affect the surface much;none-the-less,it is interesting to watch the course.At any moment it may start heaving.

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