The Blues Aesthetic and the Making of American Identity in the Literature of the South (Modern American Literature Series)

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The blues aesthetic as formulated by Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray holds that the African-American vernacular tradition, with blues music at its core, has had an unparalleled impact on the whole of American culture and art. Examining the manner in which the aesthetics related to blues music are manifested in the literature of George Washington Harris, Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, and Lewis Nordan reveals that African-American experience is diffused throughout Southern literature, from Old Southwest humor to contemporary fiction. The blues aesthetic as a window into the works of these four authors allows the reader to recognize the African-American and Southern elements that contribute to the making of American identity as expressed in our art.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820462202
  • Publisher: Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Series: Modern American Literature Series
  • Pages: 164
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 George Washington Harris: The Emergence of the Blues from Behind Sut's Tragic/Comic Mask 9
2 Charles Chesnutt: The Dialectic of Cultural Transformation 29
3 Zora Neale Hurston: From the Jook to the Juke Box 63
4 Lewis Nordan: Riffing on Memory and Playing through the Breaks 123
Conclusion 155
Bibliography 161
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