Thursday, December 28, 2006

Immigrant keywords:Laughing in the Jungle by L Adamic

Immigrant keywords:Laughing in the Jungle by Louis Adamic

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〔immigrant〕go 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….Life in America is a scramble.More people are swept under than rise to riches."

"…Much of our〔immigrant〕work 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…"

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!…But,hell!……America:what a grotesque,fantastic place! A jungle,indeed."

…where 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….

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.


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.


...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...


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.


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.

Copyright c Shouzou Tahara

電子書籍販売サイト:制限時間2分、立ち読み可(無料)。大手出版社も採用しているT-Time形式 ダウンロード版「ルイス・アダミック作品集」

●TOP「Louis Adamic in Japan」 スポンサーバナー広告募集
Wanted sp ads Suponsabana for my publication

●「電子書籍ebook (ebook_global) on Twitter」

No comments: