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ENGL 324 (22)

Crime Fiction 22

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McGill University
English (Arts)
ENGL 324
Thomas Heise

March 31 Lush Life - "the moth" < reading series, a platform for people to tell non-fiction stories before a live audience without any notes - Cleveland is a bartender in the novel, clearly based on the real story - grew up in the bronx, with incredibly high rates of crime and poverty - he has written about the bronx in other works, though this one is set in the lower east side - south of Houston st. and north of Chinatown (though it used to be also the east village, associated with jews and italians) - schiller's liquor bar > bistro that looks like it's been in the neighbourhood for years, but it's staged - white tile, ceiling fans, amber light - detailed, police procedural, lots going on - the hypen we use to describe ourselves, what happens when it falls away? you realize you're just a waitress/bartender/cab driver, not a model-waitress, screenwriter-bartender - price/cash as a last name. eric cash is a sign of gentrification slash a sign of money - a sign of demographic or class changes - based on clockers, he, david simon told me... - the idea that the novel doesn't go beyond the street - lush life goes in to the police dept. but it never goes meta, it stays at the level of material detail - city of glass is completely meta, but Lush Life doesn't do this - even in American Psycho, where he psychoanalyses his own identity, this is meta - the subject of crime is all throughout this novel, and understanding race relations, and class distinctions - the cop who is struggling to afford the city that he polices - book about real estate and gentrification - this is always a pressing issue in NY - in Montreal, everything is about language or weather - in NY, every conversation comes to be about real estate - this is essential to understanding Lush Life - think about how race and ethnicity are also conflicts of class as well - battles over the right to a turf/neighbourhood - raises issues about city space/public space - the city is a public space - no one owns it - people own apartments and stores, but the space of the city is public - even though city spaces are public, they develop communal identities that suggest that they're not open to everyone - having dwelled in a place for a long time, the neighbourhood itself begins to take on a certain appearance/language/clientele - these patterns are sometimes self-determined, as they're part of a communal effort to establish something - sometimes this breaks down by region - chinatown in manhattan: was previously cantonese, and now it's becoming more mandarin - these communities can form when people immigrate in with skills in a particular market - it's often also a result of discrimination, though - who has teh right to an urban space. this is not often a freindly debate, and it's always when one group is displacing another (who probably displaced someone to begin with) - he's
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