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Swinging the Vernacular : Jazz and African American Modernist Literature - Michael Borshuk

Swinging the Vernacular

Jazz and African American Modernist Literature

Hardcover

Published: 24th October 2005
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This book reads the work of four twentieth-century African American writers in light of recent critical reconsiderations of American modernism. Recent studies foreground the importance of race in the formation of a distinctly American modernist tradition, and suggest that American modernism thrives on a cultural hybridity unique to the United States. Focusing on the poetry of Langston Hughes and Michael S. Harper, and the fiction of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray, Swinging the Vernacular argues that there is a recognizable strand of African American modernist literature that negotiates this hybridity by adopting signal elements from a jazz musical aesthetic: namely, intertextuality, dialogism, parody. Reading the work of these writers through both African American literary theory and jazz musicological studies, the book analyzes how this African American jazz-modernist tradition complements the aesthetic innovation of "mainstream" modernism in its experimentation with jazz form, but at the same time constitutes an important political intervention in American culture, as it redresses social inequities through an aesthetic of intertextual play. The book offers a timely contribution to American modernist studies, but is also important to jazz studies for its attention to the music's aesthetic and political importance through different styles, over time.

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: The Language of Jazz as American Culture Becomes Modernp. 1
Langston Hughes and the First Book of Jazzp. 21
Thriving on a Riff: Bebop and Langston Hughes's Montage of a Dream Deferredp. 61
Riffing on the Lower Frequencies: Dialogism, Intertextuality, and Bebop in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Manp. 91
"Here Where Coltrane Is": Jazz, Cultural Memory, and Political Aesthetics in the Poetry of Michael S. Harperp. 121
Albert Murray Brings It On Home: Revisioning Black Modernism in Train Whistle Guitarp. 159
Codap. 187
Notesp. 193
Works Citedp. 229
Indexp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415974479
ISBN-10: 041597447X
Series: Studies in African American History and Culture
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 24th October 2005
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.47
Edition Number: 1