Fascinating Rhythm: Reading Jazz in American Writing

Fascinating Rhythm: Reading Jazz in American Writing

by David Yaffe
ISBN-10:
0691123578
ISBN-13:
9780691123578
Pub. Date:
11/07/2005
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
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Overview

Fascinating Rhythm: Reading Jazz in American Writing

How have American writers written about jazz, and how has jazz influenced American literature? In Fascinating Rhythm, David Yaffe explores the relationship and interplay between jazz and literature, looking at jazz musicians and the themes literature has garnered from them by appropriating the style, tones, and innovations of jazz, and demonstrating that the poetics of jazz has both been assimilated into, and deeply affected, the development of twentieth-century American literature.

Yaffe explores how Jewish novelists such as Norman Mailer, J. D. Salinger, and Philip Roth engaged issues of racial, ethnic, and American authenticity by way of jazz; how Ralph Ellison's descriptions of Louis Armstrong led to a "neoconservative" movement in contemporary jazz; how poets such as Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, and Frank O'Hara were variously inspired by the music; and how memoirs by Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, and Miles Davis both reinforced and redeemed the red light origins of jazz. The book confronts the current jazz discourse and shows how poets and novelists can be placed in it—often with problematic results. Fascinating Rhythm stops to listen for the music, demonstrating how jazz continues to speak for the American writer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691123578
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 11/07/2005
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.79(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
CHAPTER 1. WHITE NEGROES AND NATIVE SONS BLACKS AND JEWS IN WORDS AND MUSIC 15
CHAPTER 2. LISTENING TO ELLISON TRANSGRESSION AND TRADITION IN ELLISON’S JAZZ WRITINGS 61
CHAPTER 3. STOMPING THE MUSE JAZZ, POETRY, AND THE PROBLEMATIC MUSE 99
CHAPTER 4. LOVE FOR SALE HUSTLING THE JAZZ MEMOIR 150
Notes 199
Bibliography 215
Index 225

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