Ethnic Modernisms

Overview

This study explores a new understanding of modernism and ethnicity as put forward in the transnational and diasporic writings of Ania Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jean Rhys. In its selection of three modernists from apparently different cultural backgrounds, it is meant to make us rethink the role of modernism in terms of ethnicity and displacement. Konzett critiques the traditional understanding of the monocultural “ethnic identity” often highlighted in the studies of these writers and argues that all ...

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Overview

This study explores a new understanding of modernism and ethnicity as put forward in the transnational and diasporic writings of Ania Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jean Rhys. In its selection of three modernists from apparently different cultural backgrounds, it is meant to make us rethink the role of modernism in terms of ethnicity and displacement. Konzett critiques the traditional understanding of the monocultural “ethnic identity” often highlighted in the studies of these writers and argues that all three writers are better understood as ironic narrators of diaspora and movement and as avant-garde modernists. As a result, they offer an alternative aesthetics of modernism, which is centered around the innovative narration of displacement. Her analysis of the complexities of language and form and impact of the complex and ambiguous formal styles of the three writers on the history of their reception is a model of the effective integration of formalist, historicist, and theoretical perspectives in literary criticism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Delia Konzett presents a compelling argument for the nature and significance of ‘ethnic modernisms.’ Offering original readings of texts by Ania Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jean Rhys, she demonstrates the importance of their transnational perspectives for modernist aesthetics. In its argument for the significance of narrative displacement in our understanding of modernism, this book pushes current debates about ethnicity, race, national culture, and modernist writing in new and productive directions." Mary Lou Emery, Associate Professor of English, University of Iowa
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312293451
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/1/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Delia Caparoso Konzett is a part-time Lecturer in the Film Studies Program at Yale University. She is the author of a number of articles on ethnic writing.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Ethnic Modernism and Its Avant-Garde
• Anzia Yezierska and the Experience of the Assimilated Jew
• Black Folk Culture and the Aesthetics of Displacement in Zora Neale Hurston
• White Mythologies: Jean Rhys’s Aesthetics of Posthumanism
• Concluding Remarks on the Marketability of Ethnicity

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