Summary and Info
Damon Runyon's popularity and importance in shaping Amer-ican popular culture during the first half of the twentieth century can hardly be exaggerated. In lively and exuberant chapters that include a panoramic view of New York City between the World Wars-with an emphasis on the city's colorful nightlife-Schwarz examines virtually every facet of Runyon's career, from sports-writer, daily columnist, trial re-porter, and Hollywood figure to the author of the still widely read short stories that were the source of the Broad-way hit Guys and Dolls. While analyzing Runyon's high-spirited work in terms of historical contexts, popular culture, and of the changing function of the media, Schwarz argues that in his columns and stories Runyon was an indispensable figure in creating our public images of New York City culture, inclu-ding our interest in the demimonde and underworld that explains in part the success of The Godfather films and the Sopranos. As part of his discussion of Runyon's art and artistry of Runyon's fiction, he skillfully examines the special language of the Broadway stories known as 'Runyonese' and explains how 'Runyonese' has become an adjective describing flamboyant behavior.
More About the Author
Daniel R. Schwarz (born May 12, 1941) is Frederick J. Whiton Professor of English Literature and Stephen H.
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