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As in true theater, without makeup or masks, refuse or corpses show me what I permanently thrust aside in order to live. These bodily fluids, this defilement, this shit are what life withstands, hardly and with difficulty, on the part of death. There, I am at the border of my condition as a living being.

—Julia Kristeva, “Approaching Abjection”

In a fascinating 2012 piece in American Literary History, Michael New-berry suggests that a number of recent zombie films register—and actually might more thoroughly interrogate—exactly the agribusiness anxiety and landscape of industrial-food apocalypse explored by such critically acclaimed exposés of our fast-food, or junk-food, presents and futures as Fast Food Nation and Food, Inc. In so doing, he reminds us that “no genre is more routinely, even structurally, and disturbingly obsessed with food supply, food chains, and the question of who eats what or whom than the apocalyptic zombie movie” but points out that scholars in the environmental humanities nevertheless have “steered clear” of the genre.1 While the clarion call that Newberry issues here is most directly for us to take contemporary zombie films seriously, I would argue his reminder is equally applicable to the broader category of horror, a genre that on page, as well as screen, near inescapably, and at times self-reflexively, meditates on both the ecology and the ends of eating.

Yet such a claim might seem, at least at first glance, less surprising [End Page 24] from the vantage point of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature: after all, horrific depictions of the bowels of slaughterhouses in The Jungle (1906) famously led to the creation of the fda in part because of how powerfully the novel drew on gothic conventions to turn readers’ stomachs. And as literary scholars such as Jennifer Fleissner and Allison Carruth have recently pointed out, naturalist writers like Upton Sinclair and Frank Norris at once championed food safety and linked outsized industrial greed to monstrous appetites—often in grotesque detail.2 But perhaps because these writers traded in its tropes but did not produce horror fiction per se, the genre of horror itself—particularly its midcentury pulp incarnations—has, to date, garnered far less attention from food scholars and modernist critics alike. In what follows, I turn to the ecology and politics of eating in Guy Endore’s 1933 bestseller, The Werewolf of Paris, as a way not simply to start taking food matters in modernist pulp seriously but more broadly to begin to recover how leftist writers in the 1930s reenlisted eating as a site of at once radical critique and generic as well as tactical innovation within the unlikely borders of pulp fiction.

Radical Forms, Monstrous Hungers

Alan Wald opens Exiles from a Future Time, his masterful study of misfit leftist writers, with the case of Endore, a popular American novelist, committed Communist, and Oscar-nominated and later blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter whose literary output, which ranges from mystery novels and popular biographies to pamphlets for the Scottsboro boys, exemplifies Wald’s argument about midcentury radical writers in America—namely, that their cultural production bears “scant resemblance” to what we might imagine “proletarian fiction” would look like.3 And, indeed, The Werewolf of Paris could not bear out his point more directly, for Endore’s novel unexpectedly sets the gory tale of its eponymous werewolf against a pointedly radical historical backdrop—alongside the rise, and eventual brutal suppression, of the Paris Commune, the short-lived 1871 uprising that Engels would later term “the dictatorship of the Proletariat” in its most nascent but also most concrete form.4 Although such a setting might now seem an obscure historical reference, this particular choice of revolutionary touchstones in fact had astonishing resonance for American radicals in this period. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, which loudly proclaimed [End Page 25] itself to be the direct successor of the Parisian uprising, the Commune’s revolutionary legacy was newly revitalized through ongoing coverage in left-wing US periodicals like the Daily Worker, the Labor Defender, and the New Masses, even as its history was increasingly revisited through John Reed Club–sponsored pamphlets, such as Paris on the Barricades (1929), as well as in yearly commemorative pageants, sometimes with casts into the several hundreds, held across the country.5 As Daily Worker editor Moissaye J. Olgin put it in 1929, “Now, after eleven years of Soviet rule, the Paris Commune is more alive and more meaningful to the working class [in the United States] than it was fifteen years ago.”6

While Endore’s decision to intermix lycanthropy and radical revisionist historiography in the same pulp package no doubt made his brand of proletarian fiction—and return to the Commune—far more widely read, it has also made his bestseller harder for later critics to metabolize.7 Wald thus notes in passing that the horror novel was Endore’s “masterpiece of the Paris Commune” without giving it further attention in his book.8 And to look, for example, at the 1951 Avon paperback edition of The Werewolf of Paris, which touts only the novel’s sensational appetites (“men found dead—with their throats ripped to shreds; of graves clawed open—and flesh torn from corpses; of a woman whose bloody wounds were drained by the lips of a man-wolf—This is not a tale for the faint of heart!”) it is perhaps not all that surprising that even those critics aimed most at recovering radical US writing from the 1930s have so often glossed over or so altogether neglected this text.9

But Endore’s proletarian monster novel has not proved much more legible for fantasy and horror circles, either, and not simply because werewolves have (so far) garnered less scholarly attention than vampires and other gothic monsters.10 To date, the novel’s only extended critical treatments have appeared in Studies in Weird Fiction, and for genre critics the novel presents almost as much of a conundrum. The frustration is perhaps best expressed by critic Jerry Ball, who concedes that The Werewolf of Paris, by virtue of its early critical acclaim, its success in the marketplace, and its continued cult status, holds the title for the “definitive” werewolf novel. But as Ball goes on to argue, that title is troubled by “the novel’s rather annoying tendency to de-emphasize the werewolf”—its tendency, in other words, to “provide digressions (mainly historical) at nearly every opportunity.”11 What to make, then, of this monstrous form of radical fiction? [End Page 26]

In her piece “Hit-Man Modernism” for the 2006 volume Bad Modernisms, Lisa Fluet describes pulp fiction as “badly behaved and hard to pin down” and suggests that what Paula Rabinowitz’s work on “pulp modernism” most helped to remind us is that “pulp is in fact one of modernism’s ways of wandering beyond historical, categorical, and institutional boundaries and showing up, unannounced, where we least expect it.”12 But if modernist pulp is figured here as likely to show up almost anywhere, it has, as Leif Sorenson has pointed out in Modernism/Modernity, most often been read as synonymous with the realm of hard-boiled noir. And this synecdoche crucially misses pulp’s impressive range—in particular, the horror and sci-fi fiction published between the wars in magazines like Weird Tales.13 Reading Endore as repurposing exactly this kind of pulp to his own radical ends while also trading in a sensational form to rewrite history is, I argue, to do fuller justice to his form of radical fiction.14 But I also think that it is crucial to reread Endore’s novel as, first and foremost, a form of modernist food writing. For this werewolf novel consistently attends to and refigures the matter of nineteenth-century wartime famine and feeding, food matters that were of an equally pressing moment to Endore’s own Depression-era readers. In so doing, The Werewolf of Paris most ferociously asks us to question what horror tastes like and what radical memories it might agitate—or, indeed, reanimate. In overlooking the matter of and the unruly desire for food in this novel, we miss how fundamentally its horror plot turns on the question of eating and how systematically its act of radical historical remembering is set against scenes of extravagant dining in expatriate Paris and visceral tastes of lycanthropy and necrophilia on the cusp of the Franco-Prussian War that ultimately pale in comparison to moments of mass hunger and ghastly scenes of state-backed violence. Reconsidering the work of eating in the novel allows us, then, to more fully make sense of how The Werewolf of Paris remobilizes horror as an unlikely conduit for leftist memory and, in turn, to more fully register how monstrous forms of feeding provided unexpectedly sensational avenues for critiquing contemporary food politics at home and abroad in the 1930s.

Radical Feedings/Feeding Radicalism

Jack Halberstam points out in the opening of Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters that gothic horror is not simply marked [End Page 27] by its monsters or its ability to generate a certain affective response in the reader. Instead, Halberstam argues, it is a matter of form as much as content: “The Gothic topos is the monstrous body à la Frankenstein, Dracula, Dorian Gray, Jekyll/Hyde; in its generic form, Gothic is the disruption of realism and of all generic purity.”15 This formulation of the monstrous generic excess of such horror, of the “story buried within the story buried within the story,” is a particularly apt description of Endore’s hybrid text.16 For the opening frame of The Werewolf of Paris’s narrative is set in modernist Paris, where our never-named American expatriate narrator is researching his doctoral dissertation on an unnamed topic. His quiet life of the mind and general distaste for “Americans who have just come over” are, however, immediately interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Eliane, an acquaintance from back home. Through their evening outing, our narrator stumbles on the monster story at the heart of the novel in the form of a manuscript pulled from a trash heap.17 Penned by Aymar Galliez, an aging ’48er, for the 1871 court-martial of Bertrand Challiet, the eponymous lycanthropic protagonist of Endore’s novel, these “thirty- four sheets of closely written French” serve as the foundation—and authenticating historical document—for the rest of the narrative. What ostensibly follows, then, is the report on the “werewolf of Paris,” as recounted by Bertrand Challiet’s uncle Aymar, an eyewitness, but filtered and filled in by our narrator: “I had thought at first of publishing the résumé as it stood and providing this curiosity with the necessary notes to help the reader to an understanding of the case. But on second thought, I determined to recast the whole material into a more vivid form, incorporating all the results of my own investigations.”18

Before we dive further into that nested manuscript and the opening of Bertrand’s story, I want to pause over the novel’s initial nocturnal interlude and its particular interest in a gustatory phenomenon that folklorist Lucy M. Long and food studies scholar Amy Bentley have termed “culinary tourism.”19 For Eliane’s desire to experience Paris manifests most pronouncedly as a desire for a taste of Paris: “We went elsewhere and then elsewhere again and then somewhere else. I forget just where all we went. There are any number of places to go in Paris. You would think there are no such places in the United States. They are full of Americans. The waiters speak English, the band is American, the customers are from back home. What’s the use of being abroad?”20 On [End Page 28] the face of it, our narrator seems most exasperated here by the way that the tourist circuit around Paris to “all the places [Eliane] read so much about” leads them on an endless loop of the new that is simply more of the same, “the elsewhere and then elsewhere again,” and, worse still, to more of what Eliane could have devoured in America: why travel to Paris for a taste of home? But what intrigues me most about this “inauthentic” first taste of the city is the attention that the text gratuitously lavishes both on Eliane’s seemingly endless bout of hunger (capped off by a trip to “an all-night restaurant at Les Halles where one could have onion soup and she wanted that”) and on the throngs of Americans the novel suggests are similarly feasting in these various establishments—tourists who, like her, already know upon arriving they want to “go to the Dôme and the Select and eat in the Dingo and at Foyot’s.”21

As Kyla Wazana Tompkins has recently argued, “It is not simply the ‘what’ of what one eats that matters. It is the ‘where’ of where we eat and … the ‘who’ of who makes and who gets to eat it. … In reckoning with each of these interrogatives, by turning them into interrogatives, we can begin to get at the materialist conditions that determine how, and why, to borrow from Judith Butler, the matter of food comes to matter.”22 That Endore’s novel most underscores for us in its framing interlude the who that here eats and the where they do so, rather than just the what that is eaten there, positions us to see not the city that Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway famously made their hometown but, rather, a Paris overrun by American tourists who want to munch on the modernist Paris they’ve so eagerly read about (and predigested). No less crucially, it attunes us to the favorable exchange rates that fueled such tourism and to the lingering French hunger on the fringes of the scene. In so doing, the novel pointedly indexes how the postwar US economic boom and the explosion of American tourism to Paris in the interwar years increasingly reshaped—indeed, Americanized—the city’s culinary scene. As historian Brooke L. Blower explains, by the mid-1920s Americans “could shop at American grocery stores stocked with Campbell’s soup, Aunt Jemima’s pancake flour, marshmallows, cornflakes, and peanut butter,” and “once-French, once-famous restaurants advertise[d] Vermont sassidge and maple syrup,” even as “travel exposés constantly stressed the dollar as a local form of carte blanche; it was, as a young Ernest Hemingway reported to the Toronto Star, ‘the key to Paris.’”23 Eliane’s hunger thus most immediately frames our entrance [End Page 29] into the werewolf plot, but more importantly it sets the scene for the role that both scarcity and outsized appetites will play in that seemingly unconnected narrative to come—for the way, in other words, that monstrous “eating” and who might be said to partake in it will be consistently reimagined throughout the novel.

The most salient monstrous appetite in this text is, certainly, that of our eponymous hero, and the novel takes pains to allow readers a detailed taste of both the desire and the gore unleashed in Bertrand’s feedings. Initially, Bertrand’s gory predilections dawn on his uncle Aymar before Bertrand himself realizes what or who he is. (Unexplained animal mutilations begin to crop up in their small village, and Bertrand has no memory of his role in these nocturnal doings.) Despite Aymar’s misgivings, the young man is primed to pursue his studies in Paris in the fall of 1870, and it is en route there that he begins to come to terms with his appetites and the wolf that he is becoming. On the road, he encounters a childhood friend whom he instantly hungers for but altogether fails to recognize:

A wild desire to lay his hands on that man coursed through Bertrand’s body and set his brain aflame.

. . .

. . . His mouth had opened wide. His teeth had dug through cloth and flesh. His face was inundated with a warm fountain, which he licked greedily.24

Having fallen asleep, he wakes to find that “the ravaged face of his friend, Jacques Bramond, appeared plain before him. … In the thinning darkness he saw the mutilated corpse. His own mouth was sticky with clotted blood.”25 But while Bertrand feels remorse over the death of Bramond and is momentarily sickened with guilt for his grisly part in it, the novel underscores for us that his insatiable hunger quickly returns: “He had a sudden notion to dump out the bread and wine and cold meat in the knapsack and pack in a limb or two of the dead body.”26 There is certainly much scope here to find in Bertrand’s newly awakened appetite—and the very literal consumption of his friend—a hunger that exceeds bodily need and speaks instead of something closer to sexual desire. I want to pause, however, not on the scene’s not-so-latent queer erotics, but instead over the gruesome details that the novel relates and in turn positions us here to experience: teeth digging [End Page 30] into flesh, blood growing sticky in our mouths, limbs stowed away for further snacking. For as Bertrand discovers who and what he is—or, rather, who and what he wants to eat—we, too, are positioned to feed with (and through) him. And this mobilization of readerly sympathies through a realignment of our sensory palates in fact earned the novel early praise; Alexander Woollcott, for example, suggested in his March 1933 New Yorker column that “with a fine pretense of clinical detachment, [Endore] has written the history of a monster, if not quite from the monster’s point of view, then at least with such sympathetic understanding that I can easily imagine a bemused reader wondering if it might not, after all, be rather fun to … turn into a wolf, go coursing in the dark of the moon, and wind up at last by sinking a tooth in some luscious carotid.”27

Once in Paris, Bertrand is fully free to indulge his ever-burgeoning lycanthropic appetites and eventually joins the National Guard because, as our narrator points out, during the siege that fall “the workshops were empty, there wasn’t a job to be had.”28 This meek National Guardsman by day and voracious werewolf by night soon falls in love with Sophie Blumenberg, a young woman of means and morals otherwise betrothed to the aristocratic Captain de Montfort. Bertrand’s ensuing love affair with Sophie interrupts the romantic subplot in progress between Sophie and de Montfort and ultimately launches the latter into plotting the fall of the Commune. In turn, Bertrand and Sophie’s increasingly sadomasochistic relationship seems to cure Bertrand’s werewolfism, and he assures his uncle as much when Aymar finally tracks him down in Paris some months later. But it eventually becomes clear to Bertrand that his nightly cravings are returning; and to save Sophie from himself, he rushes out into the streets in search of other prey. This final plot twist lands him in prison, facing court-martial by the newly elected revolutionary government of the Commune for having attacked a fellow guardsman, a trial at which Aymar presents the summation of the case that our expatriate narrator later stumbles upon.

The novel thus strikingly sets Bertand’s insatiable hunger against a historical backdrop of economic precarity, high unemployment, and the four-month famine that overtakes Paris during the Prussian siege, crises that cut the city off from the provinces in the winter of 1870, positioning us to have a best-seat-in-the-house view of the seventy-three-day revolution that followed. While such an arrière-plan might seem [End Page 31] (and has certainly been read as) a diversion from its more central lycanthropy plot or simply a generic crosscutting from the conventions of horror to those of historical fiction, I think we might more productively resituate the novel’s sustained attention to ravenous bodies in light of early 1930s antihunger campaigns—in particular, the national hunger marches held in Washington dc in 1931 and 1932; strikes by migrant farmworkers; pamphlets devoted to topics like Modern Farming, Soviet-Style; and John Reed Club exhibits such as The World Crisis Expressed in Art: Hunger, Fascism, War, held in New York City in 1933.29 For such campaigns complicate the now more iconic images of Depression-era hunger enshrined in later Farm Security Administration (fsa) photographs and crucially highlight how Endore’s novel offers a counterarchive for resensing hunger in the 1930s.

As Jeff Allred has recently pointed out in his groundbreaking study of “documentary modernism,” official fsa documentary photographs “celebrated America’s agragrian past as they emphasized its supercession at the hands of a benevolent project of industrial modernization managed by a technocratic elite,” thus offering middle-class viewers an image of America’s abject rural “one-third” from a comfortably safe remove.30 Yet like the antihunger agitation of the Communist Party USA, Endore’s novel works instead to decenter—or, rather, to internationalize—nationally bounded hunger narratives through both its historical setting in war-torn Paris and its more contemporary framing device that sets readers in a Paris overrun by ravenous American tourists who fail to see the more pressing forms of hunger around them. It also denaturalizes the agricultural crises that underpin such national narratives. For in the novel’s ongoing “historical digressions,” the text underscores the economic rather than agricultural conditions that end up making wartime hunger at once inevitable and unevenly distributed in the city: “Government rationing could not help. Everyone in a position to do so was hoarding food, hoping for greater profits.”31 But perhaps most strikingly, it diverts its attention from Bertrand’s nocturnal feedings to show that what Orwell would elsewhere describe as “luxury feeding” continued unabated during the siege, narrating in detail the elaborate and exotic banquets that those with means enjoyed despite the famine, in particular an evening of “braised shoulder and undercut of dog with tomato sauce; jugged cat with mushrooms; dog cutlet with green peas; venison ragout of rats” and the judgment, at meal’s end, that “the best parts [End Page 32] were those least well done, left bloody … cold mice are deceptively like prawn-meat.”32 And in case we mistake such feasting for a fiction, a footnote chimes in to remind us that the “Jardin d’Acclimation” did indeed sell off its animals during the siege, and thus “enterprising butchers and fine restaurants” could feed diners such rare delicacies as “ostrich, dingo, kangaroo, elephant.”33 The novel thus makes clear that while the rhetoric of wartime famine—or, for that matter, Depression-era lack—rests on the assumption of national solidarity over shared precarity, the quotidian experience of scarcity and hunger is never equally shared. Aymar, in joining one of these midfamine feasts, thus comes to liken it to Bertrand’s snacks, “the human forearms” he keeps under his bed: “‘They have all become wolves,’ he thought. ‘Bertrand had infected them.’”34

But if the novel seems bent, at last, in simply likening wartime profiteering, hoarding, and lavish banqueting to Bertrand’s monstrous appetites, it ultimately sets us up to see the French government’s suppression of the Commune uprising in the final days of May 1871—a week that came to be known as “The Bloody Week”—to be an outsized version of this story and a far more ferocious form of “feeding” than any of Bertrand’s nocturnal exploits. Of the Versaillais’ entry into Paris, our narrator observes, “They were beginning to encircle the remainder of the city still in the hands of the Commune, and wherever their assaults carried a barricade, they set up at once their temporary booths of methodic, pitiless, thorough repression: court-martial, summary execution. And their revenge was 50 to 1.”35 And the narrative’s accounting of these judicially sanctioned executions—“No witnesses, no defense. A couple questions and off went another group of wretches to a convenient wall”—is described not as a filling out of Aymar’s original manuscript but, rather, as a crucial filling in of the historical record.36 For the narrator relates that the Versaillais government, in becoming the victors, “became the legitimists” and that the cruelty of their siege was in turn “lightly passed over by historians.”37 The novel’s unflinchingly gory examination of state-backed violence is, in other words, self-consciously aimed at setting the historical record straight. But in light of global hunger and the rise of Fascist states in Italy and Germany, this taste of 1871 would have seemed in the 1930 at once foreign and all too familiar.

In turn, The Werewolf of Paris begins to shift our perspective on the horror plot we have so far encountered, leveraging that very plot against the historical one now more prominently in front of us. Aymar, [End Page 33] in looking out at “streets of cadavers,” comes to see, in other words, our ostensibly eponymous werewolf as “but a mild case”:

The Commune shot fifty-seven [prisoners]. Versailles retaliated with nineteen hundred. To that comparison add this one. The whole famous Reign of Terror in fifteen months guillotined 2,596 aristos. The Versaillists executed 20,000 before their firing squads in one week.

. . .

. . . What was a werewolf who killed a couple prostitutes, who dug up a few corpses, compared with these bands of tigers slashing at each other with daily increasing ferocity!38

In so doing, the novel seems to suggest, finally, that horror is the proper genre not only for marshaling radical memory but for reattuning our senses to otherwise forgotten histories. And this brand of radical memory does not shrink from returning to these atrocities or “gory nightmares”—does not, in other words, shy away from offering us a taste of history’s abject horror. And it does not rest at simply mourning them; rather, it actually feeds on them. Dominic LaCapra, in discussing “scenes marked by the compulsive return of a traumatic past,” suggests we find therein that “the future is blocked or fatalistically caught up in a melancholic feedback loop.”39 Yet what interests me most about Endore’s radical remembering is precisely the way in which it reworks horror to other ends, redeploying and fixating on it as a form of protest, as a kind of memory that can spark a revolution and reanimate the future—a medium of what I would term “insurgent” rather than melancholic sensory feeling. Put differently, if Proust’s celebrated madeleine is the most conspicuous sign of the relationship between taste and modern memory, Endore invites us to imagine that a “monster-wolf in human form” might present us with an equally tangible—and far more material—reminder of the radical work that eating can do.40 [End Page 34]

J. Michelle Coghlan

J. Michelle Coghlan is a lecturer in American literature at the University of Manchester (UK). Her forthcoming book, Sensational Internationalism in the Edinburgh Critical Studies in Atlantic Literatures and Cultures series (Edinburgh, Scottland: Edinburgh University Press), recovers the spectacular afterlife of the Paris Commune in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century US literary, visual, and performance culture. Her project in progress, “Culinary Designs,” chronicles the rise of food writing and the making of American taste in the long nineteenth century. Her recent work has appeared in Arizona Quarterly; the Henry James Review; Must Read: Rediscovering American Bestsellers, ed. Sarah Churchwell and Thomas Ruys Smith (London: Continuum, 2012); and Transforming Henry James, ed. Anna De Biasio, Anna Despotopoulou, and Donatella Izzo (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013).

notes

1. Michael Newberry, “Fast Zombie/Slow Zombie: Food Writing, Horror Movies, and Agribusiness Apocalypse,” American Literary History 24, no. 1 (2012): 90.

2. As Fleissner explains, “In naturalist fiction, Frank Norris’s The Octopus buries the greedy merchant alive under a shower of grain, while Upton Sinclair’s 1906 The Jungle, most famously, reveals the poor’s role as literal food for the rich, by showing the workers falling, unnoticed into the lard-vats”; Jennifer Fleissner, “Henry James and the Art of Eating,” elh 75, no. 1 (2008): 39. Carruth rightly points out that Progressive writers “tend to allegorize food production as a touchstone for other economic and political matters [such as corporate monopolies and unlivable working conditions]”; Allison Carruth, Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food (London: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 21.

3. Alan Wald, Exiles from a Future Time: The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002), 3.

4. Much as The Werewolf of Paris draws on and at times disrupts the expectations of horror fiction, it thus further adapts conventions of the historical novel by conveniently placing its eponymous monster at the time of the siege and Commune so that this other history unfolds in the background of Bertrand’s story. But where the historical novel asks us to care as much for the protagonist and his doings as for the world in which he finds himself, Endore’s novel interrupts its presumably major plot—namely, Bertrand’s own story—precisely to shift our readerly attention fully onto the history of the Commune, ostensibly in the arrière-plan of the novel. And to underscore that Bertrand is no longer the center of readerly attention, the character who matters, he is in jail—and thus, “offstage”—through this section of the novel.

5. In 1925, for example, the New York Times described “seven thousand Communists, many of them schoolboys and young girls, gathered in Madison Square Garden [to celebrate], with speeches, songs and a pageant, the fifty-fourth anniversary of the shortlived Paris Commune, which speakers hailed as the forerunner of the more successful proletarian revolt in Russia”; “Reds in Garden Cheer for the Commune,” New York Times, March 17, 1925. For a further discussion of the Commune’s spectacular second life in early twentieth-century US radical culture, see J. Michelle Coghlan, “Revolution’s Afterlife: The Paris Commune in U.S. Cultural Memory, 1871–1933,” (PhD diss., Princeton University, 2011).

6. Moissaye J. Olgin, preface to Paris on the Barricades: A Story of the Commune of 1871, by George Spiro (New York: Workers Library Publishers, 1929), 3. [End Page 35]

7. As contemporary critics continue to point out, one of the sharpest criticisms of proletarian fiction was always that it wasn’t read in sizeable numbers. But even early reviewers of The Werewolf of Paris praised it precisely for its historical meanderings—“the part of the book dealing with the [Paris] Commune is by far the most interesting—a real contribution to fiction”; unsigned William C. Weber, review of Werewolf of Paris, by Guy Endore, Saturday Review, April 22, 1933, clipping form Guy Endore’s personal scrapbook, call no. 279, box 69, Department of Special Collections, University of California, Los Angeles.

8. Wald, Exiles from a Future Time, 2.

9. Barbara Foley, in her magisterial study of the proletarian novel, similarly sidesteps Endore’s pulp classic, offering instead an extended reading of Babouk, Endore’s remarkable 1934 novel of the Haitian revolution—a text now less frequently read but still more legibly political; see Barbara Foley, Radical Representations: Politics and Form in US Proletarian Fiction, 1929–1941 (Durham nc: Duke University Press, 1993).

10. Several otherwise excellent reevaluations of horror fiction have largely overlooked werewolves, among them Judith Halberstam’s Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Durham nc: Duke University Press, 1995) and Annalee Newitz’s Pretend We’re Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Popular Culture (Durham nc: Duke University Press, 2006). Newitz, for example, surveys “serial killers, mad doctors, the undead, robots, and people involved in the media industry” (6) across pulp fiction, B movies, and classic novels, from the late nineteenth through the early twenty-first centuries; but she does not take up the case of werewolves. The most exhaustive text on the subject might be Brian J. Frost’s Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature (Madison wi: Popular Press, 2003), aimed at scholars and fans of the genre.

11. Jerry Ball, “Guy Endore’s The Werewolf of Paris: The Definitive Werewolf Novel?” Studies in Weird Fiction 17, no. 2 (1995): 4.

12. Lisa Fluet, “Hit-Man Modernism,” in Bad Modernisms, ed. Douglas Mao and Rebecca Walkowitz (Durham nc: Duke University Press, 2006), 269.

13. Leif Sorenson, “A Weird Modernist Archive: Pulp Fiction, Pseudobiblia, H. P. Lovecraft,” Modernism/Modernity 17, no. 3 (2010): 501.

14. I’m borrowing the concept of a “sensational” form of modernism from Joseph B. Entin’s recent work, Sensational Modernism: Experimental Fiction and Photography in Thirties America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007). In it, Entin argues that artists like William Carlos Williams, Tillie Olsen, Richard Wright, and Pietro di Donato “aspired to arouse in their audiences a new, more urgent understanding of poverty, industrial violence, and racial injustice. To do so, [they] used striking images of pain, prejudice, crime, and violence to create avant-garde aesthetics of astonishment” (2). In my reading, we might include both Endore’s best-selling werewolf novel and the agitprop pamphlets that most seem to energize it as examples of what Entin has termed “sensational modernism” (2).

15. Halberstam, Skin Shows, 11. [End Page 36]

16. Halberstam, Skin Shows, 21.

17. Guy Endore, The Werewolf of Paris (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1933), 3.

18. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 13.

19. Long defines culinary tourism as “the intentional, exploratory participation in the foodways of an other—participation including the consumption, preparation, and presentation. … This definition emphasizes the individual as active agent in constructing meanings within a tourist experience, and it allows for an aesthetic response to food as part of that experience”; Lucy M. Long, “Culinary Tourism: A Folkloristic Perspective on Eating and Otherness,” in Culinary Tourism, ed. Lucy M. Long (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004), 21. In the same volume, Bentley famously explores but also problematizes the ways that culinary tourism paradoxically allows Americans to “embrace, enjoy, and explore [Mexican cuisine], but seem easily to sever the food from the people and region of its origin”; Amy Bentley, “From Culinary Other to Mainstream America: Meanings and Uses of Southwestern Cuisine,” in Long, Culinary Tourism, 215.

20. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 6.

21. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 4, 6.

22. Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the 19th Century. (New York: New York University Press, 2012), 3–4.

23. Brooke L. Blower, Becoming Americans in Paris: Transatlantic Politics and Culture between the Wars (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 7, 46, 48.

24. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 144.

25. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 145.

26. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 147.

27. Alexander Woollcott, “Shouts and Murmurs: Circulating Library” review of The Werewolf of Paris, by Guy Endore, New Yorker, March 25, 1933, 32.

28. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 184.

29. For a further discussion of the The World Crisis exhibition, see Helen Langa, Radical Art: Printmaking and the Left in 1930s New York (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), 68. For more on national hunger marches in the early 1930s, see Andor Skotnes, A New Deal for All? Race and Class Struggles in Depression-Era Baltimore (Durham nc: Duke University Press, 2013), 50; and Mark Solomon, The Cry Was Unity: Communists and African Americans, 1917–1936 (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998), 153.

30. Jeff Allred, American Modernism and Depression Documentary (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 3.

31. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 173.

32. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 179.

33. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 180.

34. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 186, 180.

35. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 285.

36. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 289. [End Page 37]

37. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 288.

38. Endore, Werewolf of Paris, 290, 291, 290.

39. Quoted in Peter Starr, Commemorating Trauma: The Paris Commune and Its Cultural Aftermath (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006), 169.

40. The 1951 Avon paperback edition of the Werewolf of Paris headlines the text as a “weird novel about a monster-wolf in human form.” [End Page 38]

Additional Information

ISSN
2330-8117
Pages
24-38
Launched on MUSE
2015-06-14
Open Access
No
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