Blues Ideology and Afro American Literature

Author: Houston A. Baker, Jr.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022616084X
Format: PDF
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Relating the blues to American social and literary history and to Afro-American expressive culture, Houston A. Baker, Jr., offers the basis for a broader study of American culture at its "vernacular" level. He shows how the "blues voice" and its economic undertones are both central to the American narrative and characteristic of the Afro-American way of telling it.

Blues Ideology and Afro American Literature

Author: Houston A. Baker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226035387
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
Relating the blues to American social and literary history and to Afro-American expressive culture, Houston A. Baker, Jr., offers the basis for a broader study of American culture at its "vernacular" level. He shows how the "blues voice" and its economic undertones are both central to the American narrative and characteristic of the Afro-American way of telling it.

Workings of the Spirit

Author: Houston A. Baker, Jr.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226035222
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Turning on inspired interpretations of Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Ntozake Shange, Workings of the Spirit weighs current critical approaches to black women's writing against Baker's own explanation of the founding, theoretical state of Afro-American intellectual history. "Brilliant, and tenderly riveted to gratitude as an indispensable facet of analysis, Houston Baker arrives, yet again, bearing the loveliest flowers of his devotion and delight: thank God he's here!"—June Jordan

Afro American Poetics

Author: Houston A. Baker
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299115043
Format: PDF
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When Houston A. Baker Jr. one of America's foremost literary critics, first published Afro-American Poetics in 1988, it was hailed as a major revisionist history of both African American culture and criticism. Now available in paperback, this ambitious and enlightening book juxtaposes two of the most fertile periods of African American culture, the 1920s and the 1960s; it includes essays on Jean Toomer, Countee Cullen, Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, and Hoyt Fuller. This is also Baker's most personal book, an intellectual autobiography tracing his own beginnings as a scholar of Victorian literature, his “second birth” as he began teaching African American literature, and his visions and revisions of a black aesthetic. From reviews of the hardcover edition: “A stunning critical achievement. . . . Baker explores in fine and splendid detail the dialectic between self and other, rhetoric and representation, 'high' theory and the Black vernacular, to chart the evolution of Afro-American literary criticism since 1970.”—Henry Louis Gates Jr, Harvard University “Baker's is a fascinating portrait of the literary critic as blues artist, reconstructing the products of two amazingly fruitful decades of engagement with Afro-American expressive culture in illuminating autobiographical examinations of his own—and indeed, Afro-American criticism's—momentous changes over that period of time.”—Michael Awkward, University of Michigan “Readers who do not know much about black American literature would learn a great deal from Afro-American Poetics; those who do would be further enlightened.”—Peter Nazareth, World Literature Today “For this student of black literature, the final impact of Afro-American Poetics is overwhelming. We now have the beginnings of a superstructure upon which to gauge individual pieces of black literature.”—Eugene Kraft, Callaloo

Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance

Author: Houston A. Baker, Jr.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022615629X
Format: PDF, Docs
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"Mr. Baker perceives the harlem Renaissance as a crucial moment in a movement, predating the 1920's, when Afro-Americans embraced the task of self-determination and in so doing gave forth a distinctive form of expression that still echoes in a broad spectrum of 20th-century Afro-American arts. . . . Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance may well become Afro-America's 'studying manual.'"—Tonya Bolden, New York Times Book Review

Long Black Song

Author: Houston A. Baker
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 9780813913018
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Houston Baker maintains that black American culture, grounded in a unique historical experience, is distinct from any other, and that it has produced a body of literature that is equally and demonstrably unique in its sources, values, and modes of expression. He argues that black American literature is rooted in black folklore- animal tales, trickster slave tales, religious tales, folk songs, spirituals, and ballads- and that a knowledge of this tradition is essential to the understanding of any individual black author or work. To deomonstrate the continuity of this tradition, Baker examines themes that appear in folklore and persist throughout contemporary black literature. "Freedom and Apocalypse," for example, traces the idea that black Americans are a chosen people who will, by some violent means, overthrow the white man's tyranny. The essays culminate in an examination of the life and work of Richard Wright. Baker's treatment of Wright as a black American artist who recorded the black man's shift from an agrarian to an urban setting places Wright and the tradition of black literature and culture in a fresh perspective.

Spiritual Blues and Jazz People in African American Fiction

Author: A. Yemisi Jimoh
Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press
ISBN: 9781572331723
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this book, A. Yemisi Jimoh demonstrates the critical influence of music on the fiction of various twentieth-century African American writers. Exploring novels and short stories by Toni Morrison, John Edgar Wideman, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, and others, Jimoh shows how black musical traditions--specifically Spirituals, Blues, and Jazz--are used to shape characterizations and thematic content and to evince ideas, emotions, and experiences. The author's analysis situates the literary texts she discusses within the diverse social energies of their times and locates important intersections where music, history, politics, and literature meet. Jimoh carefully distinguishes among the different musical forms and shows how, in fiction, they are transformed into rich metaphors. She explains, for example, how characters and themes drawing on the Spiritual-Gospel tradition de-emphasize human agency, depicting earthly survival as a transitory state and heavenly triumph as a victory. By contrast, in Blues fiction, characters must often negotiate an environment of alienation, change, and uncertainty in order to achieve a more earthly triumph, even if that triumph is only survival. Jazz fiction, meanwhile, goes beyond Blues and Spiritual expressions to explore new realms, revealing a space for infinite options, radical change, resistance, and revolution. This innovative book examines novels that have not previously received extensive attention, including Albert Murray's Train Whistle Guitar, Wallace Thurman's The Blacker the Berry, and Ann Petry's The Street. At the same time, it brings fresh and intriguing readings to such widely studied works as Ellison's Invisible Man and Morrison's Sula. Finally, it suggests some exciting directions for future study as new generations of African American musicians and writers continue to develop and expand on established traditions and forms. The Author: A. Yemisi Jimoh is an associate professor of English at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Her articles have appeared in African American Review, Contemporary African American Novelists, and other publications.

The Journey Back

Author: Houston A. Baker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226035352
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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An analysis of Afro-American literature in the context of Black culture includes examinations of the writings of Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, and Ralph Ellison

Native Son

Author: Richard Wright
Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Kindle
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