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SU N S H IN E

OR

NOIR?

collectivized intellectual production and the disappearance of the author, now bitterly denounced Taylorized ‘breadwork’, as Brecht called it, and the futility of ‘writing for nobody’.91 For Adorno, Hollywood was nothing less than the mechanized cataclysm that was abolishing Culture in the classical sense, (in America, one w ill. . . not be able to dodge the question, whether the term culture, in which one grew up, has become obsolete. . . .’)92 Secondly, whatever their material situation, secluded (Adorno) or integrated (Billy Wilder), forgotten (Heinrich Mann and Man Ray) or cele­ brated (Thomas Mann), dependent on charity (Doblin) or housed in the Palisades (Feuchtwanger), the exiles were all vulnerable to changes in the political climate. Concentrated in the movie colony under an increasingly hostile public eye, they played out their final role in Los Angeles as scape­ goats of the Hollywood Inquisition. With the entire industry increasingly held hostage by cold war brainwashing, and ten of their American colleagues on the road to prison (with hundreds more blacklisted for a generation), many of the exiles chose to take the first boat back to the Old World. Others hung on, as best they could, writing or directing the occasional noir film that intimated the cancer of political and cultural repression. Later, back in Modell Deutschland (which he had chosen over Brecht’s DDR), Horkheimer reorganized the Frankfurt School and began to publish the rest of his and Adorno’s notes from the mid twentieth century’s ‘most advanced point of observation’. The Frankfurters briefed the new European intelligentsia about the coming order for which the Marshall Plan was laying the foundation. Bittersweet memories o f ‘exile in paradise’ (New York and Los Angeles) were sublimated into a preemptive critique of cultural Americanization and the consumer society. Southern California, mean­ while, might have forgotten that it had ever housed the Institute for Social Research, except for the unexpected arrival of Frankfurt’s most famous prodigal son, Herbert Marcuse, in the early 1960s - the last of the exile generation to arrive on the West Coast. Recruited from Brandeis to anchor the philosophy program at the spectacular new sea-cliff campus of the University of California at San Diego, Marcuse willingly walked back into the same storm of rabid anti­ radicalism and anti-intellectualism from which Brecht, Eisler and scores of others had fled in the late 1940s. During what Barry Katz has called his

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