Jean Toomer & Prison House Thought

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1993 Hard cover New in very good dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 216 p. Audience: General/trade. New book. DJ shows moderate wear and rubbing, small closed tear at ... top of spine. Read more Show Less

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Best known for his experimental novel 'Cane', Jean Toomer (1894-1967) is associated with the flowering of the Harlem Renaissance in the early 1920s as well as the postwar movement ... known as the Lost Generation. But Toomer was an enigmatic writer with a mystical vision of life. He followed his own path, which led him on a lifelong quest for spiritual truth. This book provides the first comprehensive survey of Toome's writings, including many unpublished works. Critiquing the subjective idealism that lies at the center of Toomer's oeuvre through the lens of Lukacs's theory of reification, Robert B. Jones frames his analysis in terms of Kierkegaard's stages of development - the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious. The result is a thoughtful, well-written study that casts new light on Toomer's literary and intellectual development from a variety of critical perspectives. 191 pages consisting of the three spheres, notes, extensive bibliography from 1923-1992 and secondary sources, and an extensive index. The binding is light grey cloth. The jacket is in a protective cover. 8vo - over 7?" - 9?" tall. Read more Show Less

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870238604
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 12/30/1993
  • Pages: 216
  • Lexile: 1430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction. Idealism and Alienation 1
Pt. 1 The Aesthetic Sphere (1918-1923) 19
1 Aesthetics of Orientalism and the Emergence of Racial Consciousness 21
Imagist and Symbolist Poets 21
"Like Green Blades Sprouting in His Consciousness" 27
2 Cane: Hermeneutics of Form and Consciousness 33
The Structure of Language: Metaphor and Metonymy 33
The Art of Literary Portraiture 43
Spiritual Design and the Structure of Plot 49
Cane: Toward a Definition of Form 58
Pt. 2 The Ethical Sphere (1924-1939) 63
3 Landscapes of the Self: Art and Gurdjieffian Idealism 65
The Poet as Idealist Philosopher 65
Higher Consciousness in the Novels 78
"The Eye": A Study in Terror and Insanity 84
"Cosmic Consciousness" and the American Southwest 92
4 Landscapes of Society: The Postwar Decade 97
"Lost and Dominant": Landscape of the Modern Wasteland 97
Further Social Perspectives 106
Pt. 3 The Religious Sphere (1940-1955) 113
5 Quiet Rebel: Quaker Religious Idealism 115
The Ethical versus the Religious 115
Passage to India 120
The Poet as Knight of Faith 125
Conclusion. The Lost Dancer: The Failure of Idealism 133
Notes 145
Bibliography 155
The Literary Canon of Jean Toomer 155
Jean Toomer Bibliography, 1923-1992 160
Secondary Sources 180
Index 185
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