brightlights

kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Please confirm if "brightlights" in the following context, taken from Adajio Dancer (biography of Rudolph Valentino) in "The Big Money" by Dos Passos, means "big cities":
The family was through with him. But Rodolfo Guglielmi wanted to make good. He got a job as assistant gardener in Central Park but that kind of work was the last thing he wanted to do; he wanted to make good in the brightlights; money burned his pockets.
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Yes, brightlights (or bright lights as the rest of us would spell it;)) would mean big cities, Mr.K.

    EDIT: Oh! I've just noticed he's working in Central Park. Would that be Central Park, New York, do you know? If so, he's already in the bright lights ... so maybe DosPassos is punning on spotlight: He wanted to make good in the [brightlights of the] spotlights.
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Yes, brightlights (or bright lights as the rest of us would spell it;)) would mean big cities, Mr.K.

    EDIT: Oh! I've just noticed he's working in Central Park. Would that be Central Park, New York, do you know? If so, he's already in the bright lights ... so maybe DosPassos is punning on spotlight: He wanted to make good in the [brightlights of the] spotlights.
    Yes, he must be in NY, though the text doesn't say that directly. But, he's in America all right. As for spotlights, Dos Passos uses different term for that few paragraphs later:
    Valentino spent his life in the colorless glare of klieg lights, in stucco villas obstructed with bricabrac oriental rugs tigerskins...
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Well, that reference to brightlights may well be a definite 'anticipation' of those klieg lights:)
    I think dear E the following passages confirm your 2nd guess:
    Whenever he went the sirens of the motorcyclecops screeched ahead of him,... the streets were jumbled with hysterical faces, waving hands, crazy eyes;...
    He wanted to make good under the glare of the milliondollar searchlights
    of Eldorado:
    The Sheik, the Son of the Sheik;
    ... spent a million dollars on one European trip;
    he wanted to make good in the brightlights.
     
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