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John Fante's Ask the DustA Joining of Voices and Views$
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Stephen Cooper and Clorinda Donato

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823287864

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823287864.001.0001

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Watch Out or You’ll Wind Up in My Novel: The Lost World of Ask the Dust

Watch Out or You’ll Wind Up in My Novel: The Lost World of Ask the Dust

(p.145) Watch Out or You’ll Wind Up in My Novel: The Lost World of Ask the Dust
John Fante's Ask the Dust

Robert Guffey

Fordham University Press

This essay analyzes the influence of John Fante's 1939 novel Ask the Dust on recent works of fiction such as Noah Van Sciver's 2015 graphic novel Fante Bukowski. It also explores the influence of such Fante's predecessors as James Branch Cabell, author of Jurgen, on Fante's own fiction, focusing particularly on Fante’s early short story “To Be a Monstrous Fellow.” Key authors of Los Angeles fiction, from L. Frank Baum (The Wizard of Oz) to Steve Erickson (Days Between Stations), are juxtaposed with Fante and his unique literary interpretation of southern California as presented in Ask the Dust.

Keywords:   Ask the Dust, L. Frank Baum, Bukowski, James Branch Cabell, Steve Erickson, Fante, graphic novels, Los Angeles novel, Noah Van Sciver

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