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But we also
found this class to be boring. Like the Marxists, whom I would later sympathize with
during the anti-war movement, I felt a revolt against the bourgeoisie, specifically the
American middle class. I would walk through the array of tract homes in the city and feel
what a meaningless life it was, so standardized and mechanical, without any real thinking
or creativity. It seemed that everyone was involved in a pursuit of material gain that
went nowhere, except to mediocrity. This was not so much a political as an intellectual
revolt, though it eventually developed political ramifications.
I revolted against American culture or rather against the lack of it. What had my
country really added to civilization apart from mass production and technological
inventions? What had it produced in terms of poetry, art, philosophy or literature? I
became a kind of expatriate. I wouldnt read or study American authors except
for Thoreau. I sympathized with writers like Henry Miller who abandoned the United States
for Europe. I felt that American culture was a diminution of a greater European culture
for which I had a greater affinity.