Cane (New Edition) by Jean Toomer

By Jean Toomer

“A leap forward in prose and poetical writing. . . . This booklet can be on all readers’ and writers’ desks and of their minds.”—Maya Angelou

First released in 1923, Jean Toomer’s Cane is an cutting edge literary work—part drama, half poetry, half fiction—powerfully evoking black lifestyles within the South. wealthy in imagery, Toomer’s impressionistic, occasionally surrealistic sketches of Southern rural and concrete lifestyles are permeated by way of visions of smoke, sugarcane, nightfall, and hearth; the northern global is pictured as a harsher truth of asphalt streets. This iconic paintings of yankee literature is released with a brand new afterword via Rudolph Byrd of Emory collage and Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard collage, who offer groundbreaking biographical info on Toomer, position his writing in the context of yankee modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, and think about his transferring claims approximately his personal race and his pioneering critique of race as a systematic or organic suggestion.

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This soprano has a protector, a powerful and vicious cardinal, and the cardinal ensures that Sarrasine meets his death. The figure that we have seen at the beginning of the story at the ball is Zambinella, now very, very old but the source of all the money that has staged this extravagant party. The young woman is so shocked and appalled by the story that she refuses to honor the promise that she has made to the narrator, and the story ends. Barthes analyzes “Sarrasine” into five codes. He talks about the hermeneutic code, which is the code of enigmas, a kind of detective story code, the code that I’ve emphasized in my own telling of the story.

The delights of this book are many. It provides an expert guide through the bibliographies of both recent literary criticism of modernism and recent historical work on silent American cinema. It offers a re-╉engagement with the classic texts of film theory, most notably Bazin and Heath. It offers delightfully close readings of both film and literature, text and context. Above all it makes clear why modernism, which provided the founding literary texts for the establishment of English as a university discipline, cannot be understood without reference to the early cinema and, furthermore, why that cinema cannot be fully appreciated without reference to literary modernism.

The twentieth century—​and the twenty-​first is so far no different—​saw an ever greater interpenetration of these two worlds. From Graham Greene’s film criticism to Salman Rushdie’s claim that The Wizard of Oz was his first literary influence, writers have thought and written about the cinema in ever greater numbers. At the same time, cinema has from its second decade sought much of its source material in literature, and there is almost no major novelist or dramatist in the last century who has not earned part of his or her living either from the direct sale of work to film producers or by the writing of screenplays.

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