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Cross-Rhythms: Jazz Aesthetics in African-American Literature

Cross-Rhythms: Jazz Aesthetics in African-American Literature (Hardback)

£110.00
Printed to order. Despatched in 2-3 weeks.
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Synopsis

Cross-Rhythms investigates the literary uses and effects of blues and jazz in African-American literature of the twentieth century. Texts by James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Gayl Jones, Toni Morrison and Ishmael Reed variously adopt or are consciously informed by a jazz aesthetic; this aesthetic becomes part of a strategy of ethnic identification and provides a medium with which to consider the legacy of trauma in African-American history. These diverse writers are all thoroughly immersed in a socio-cultural context and a literary aesthetic that embodies shifting conceptions of ethnic identity across the twentieth century. The emergence of blues and jazz is, likewise, a crucial product of, as well as catalyst for, this context, and in their own aesthetic explorations of notions of ethnicity these writers consciously engage with this musical milieu. By examining the highly varied manifestations of a jazz aesthetic as possibly the fundamental common denominator which links these writers, this study attempts to identify an underlying unifying principle.

As the different writers write against essentializing or organic categories of race, the very fact of a shared engagement with jazz sensibilities in their work redefines the basis of African-American communal identity.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalMusic & DanceMusic BooksMusic: styles & genresJazzPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesSocial groupsEthnic studiesBlack & Asian studies Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC Publication Date: 11/12/2008 ISBN-13: 9780826497437  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Printed to order. Despatched in 2-3 weeks.  

Keren Omry teaches Jazz and American Literature at Tel Aviv University and at University of Haifa, Israel.

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