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Jean Toomer (1894–1967)

Autor(a) de Cane

17+ Works 2,052 Membros 19 Críticas 7 Favorited

About the Author

Jean Toomer is known today for the one successful book of his career, the novel Cane, published in 1923. Based in part upon his brief experience in the South as a school teacher, Cane was perhaps the first genuinely experimental novel by an African American writer responding to the liberating form mostrar mais of modernist narrative techniques as well as to the deepest and most primal roots of black folk culture in both the South and the North. As such, it reflects in its form the identity conflict that the novel's interwoven stories and poems address. Cane is unique for its blend of poetic language and psychological and moral realism; it established Toomer as one of the leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance. However, Toomer soon was absorbed in his own spiritual education. He eventually became a Quaker and spent most of the last part of his life in seclusion. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Obras por Jean Toomer

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories of the Century (2000) — Contribuidor — 1,566 exemplares
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (2000) — Contribuidor — 1,268 exemplares
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (1995) — Contribuidor, algumas edições930 exemplares
The Oxford Book of American Short Stories (1992) — Contribuidor — 756 exemplares
The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis (2001) — Contribuidor — 552 exemplares
The New Negro: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance (1925) — Contribuidor — 441 exemplares
The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader (1994) — Contribuidor — 408 exemplares
The Black Poets (1983) — Contribuidor — 360 exemplares
African-American Poetry: An Anthology, 1773-1927 (1997) — Contribuidor — 251 exemplares
African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song (2020) — Contribuidor — 176 exemplares
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (2006) — Contribuidor — 163 exemplares
The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) — Contribuidor — 148 exemplares
Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (2009) — Contribuidor — 115 exemplares
Harlem Renaissance: Five Novels of the 1920s (2011) — Contribuidor — 111 exemplares
Voices from the Harlem Renaissance (1976) — Contribuidor — 107 exemplares
Calling the Wind: Twentieth Century African-American Short Stories (1992) — Contribuidor — 101 exemplares
Norton Introduction to the Short Novel (1982) — Contribuidor, algumas edições99 exemplares
The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology (1997) — Contribuidor — 98 exemplares
American Short Stories (1976) — Contribuidor, algumas edições95 exemplares
Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America (1995) — Contribuidor — 91 exemplares
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Concise Edition (2003) — Contribuidor — 68 exemplares
D.C. Noir 2: The Classics (2008) — Contribuidor — 64 exemplares
Autumn: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (2004) — Contribuidor — 58 exemplares
Trouble the Water: 250 Years of African American Poetry (1997) — Contribuidor — 56 exemplares
The Ecopoetry Anthology (2013) — Contribuidor — 49 exemplares
Harlem Renaissance Novels: The Library of America Collection (2011) — Contribuidor — 48 exemplares
Soulscript: Afro-American Poetry (1970) — Contribuidor — 40 exemplares
Classic Fiction of the Harlem Renaissance (1994) — Contribuidor — 40 exemplares
I Hear a Symphony: African Americans Celebrate Love (1994) — Contribuidor — 33 exemplares
Sense of Wonder: A Century of Science Fiction (2011) — Contribuidor — 32 exemplares
Graphic Classics: African-American Classics (2011) — Contribuidor — 31 exemplares
The Seas of God: Great Stories of the Human Spirit (1944) — Contribuidor — 25 exemplares
Black Theater USA : 45 Plays By Black Americans : 1847-1974 (1973) — Contribuidor — 20 exemplares
Story to Anti-Story (1979) — Contribuidor — 13 exemplares
Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (2018) — Contribuidor — 9 exemplares
New American caravan : a yearbook of American literature (1936)algumas edições4 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



I was fascinated by parts of the book, not by others; but I cannot judge Jean Toomer who won praise for this.
RickGeissal | 10 outras críticas | Aug 16, 2023 |
Hard poems to read. Important stories.
mykl-s | 10 outras críticas | Aug 12, 2023 |
Only read selections of it.
dianahaemer | 10 outras críticas | Apr 27, 2021 |
Well, this was different. The Library of America calls this a novel and maybe under some definition of a modernist novel, it may qualify. I don't read the modernists (or I do very rarely anyway) and I need my novels to have a structure or at least a plot. Although after having read that, I realize that if a structure is enough, then this indeed may be a novel. But that will also be true for linked stories collections. Or maybe I should stop trying to find a box to fit it under and just talk about the book.

The book is a mix of poems, stories, vignettes and even a mix of a play and a story at the very end. All the pieces have the same main topic - the life of African Americans in a world designed and ran by the whites. And Toomer takes a circular route into the topic - he starts with the South (Georgia), moves north (Washington) and then sends a northern man south to close the circle back in rural Georgia. And while this cycle ties the different texts together, it also highlighted the difference between the different parts.

The first one, the one set in the South reads like one of those stories that evolve around a fireplace - a mix of poetry and small stories and portraits of people and places, with repetitions inside of the same story and between stories. It sounds like a sing-song, even the parts that are obviously prose. Not all of those stories are nice, most of them are not but they all work as a whole and paints an image of a land steeped in legends and superstitions.

And as lyrical as that first part is, the second one pulls you out and throws you into the emerging jazz era of the big city. The same mix of prose and poetry reads very very differently and it loses the magic of the legends. It was intentional I think - it was supposed to show the new world but for some reason it sounded more crude and disjointed than a real counterpart of the first part.

And then comes the (almost) play, "Kabnis". A Northern black teacher moves to Georgia to teach and finds a community in the middle of a change. The lyrical language of the first part is back but now mixed with something else. The start is rough in the same way the very beginning of the novel is but once you get used to the dialect and the rhythm of the play/story, it slowly turns into the best part of the whole book. It is not just a play, there are parts of it which cannot be set on stage but using the play format allows the author not to look for scene transitions and connections and to set the acts he wants to.

Tradition meets jazz (and the new world), racism meets love and women meеt men -- most of the pieces deal with at least one of these pairs; the ones that do not deal with just one side of a pair. And somewhere under all these diverse stories and poems emerges a portrait of a time, told by a voice of someone who belongs to the Jazz era but lives outside of it.

At the end I liked this more than I expected to. I came into it with very low expectations - modernist fiction rarely works for me. And it took awhile for me to warm up to it. I still do not find the style appealing but I am happy I read this one.
… (mais)
2 vote
AnnieMod | 10 outras críticas | Jun 22, 2020 |



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