Race, manhood, and modernism in America: the short story cycles of Sherwood Anderson and Jean Toomer
Race, Manhood, and Modernism in America offers the first extended comparison between American writers Sherwood Anderson (1876--1941) and Jean Toomer (1894--1967), examining their engagement with the ideas of "Young American" writers and critics such as Van Wyck Brooks, Paul Rosenfeld, and Waldo Frank. This distinctively modernist school was developing unique visions of how race, gender, and region would be transformed as America entered an age of mass consumerism. Focusing on Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio (1919) and Toomer's Cane (1923), Race, Manhood, and Modernism in America brings Anderson and Toomer together in a way that allows for a thorough historical and social contextualization that is often missing from assessments of these two literary talents and of modernism as a whole. The book suggests how the gay subcultures of Chicago and the traumatic events of the Great War provoked Anderson's anxieties over the future of male gender identity, anxieties that are reflected in Winesburg, Ohio, Mark Whalan discusses Anderson's primitivistic attraction to African American communities and his ambivalent attitudes toward race, attitudes that were embedded in the changing cultural and gendered landscape of mass mechanical production. The book next examines how Toomer aimed to broaden the racial basis of American cultural nationalism, often inspired by the same cultural critics who had influenced Anderson. He rejected the ethnographically based model of tapping the "buried cultures" of ethnic minorities developed by his mentor, Waldo Frank, and also parted with the "folk" aesthetic endorsed by intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. Instead, Toomer's monumental Cane turned to discourses ofphysical culture, machine technology, and illegitimacy as ways of conceiving of a new type of manhood that refashioned commonplace notions of racial identity. Taken together, these discussions provide a fresh, interdisciplinary appraisal of the importance of race to "Young America," suggest provocative new directions for scholarship, and give new insight into some of the most crucial texts of U.S. interracial modernism.
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Narrative Gender and History in Winesburg Ohio
Sherwood Anderson and Primitivism
Waldo Frank Sherwood
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aesthetic Alain Locke American racial anthropology argued artist assessment audience authentic bastard becomes black body Brooks called Cane Cane's central chapter Chicago concept critique cultural criticism cultural production D. H. Lawrence Dark Laughter desire dialect discussed Double Dealer dynamic essay ethnographic fantasy felt fiction figure folder formal gender genre George Gorham Munson Harlem Renaissance homosexuality imaginative individual industrial intellectual Jean Toomer JTP box Kabnis labor Letters linked literary Malcolm Cowley male masculinity Memoirs miscegenation modern Moreover Munson narrative Negro Renaissance noted novel Ohio Orleans patriarchal physical culture primitive primitivism primitivistic race racial identity racial politics reader reading relation representation represented rural Scruggs and VanDemarr sense sexual Sherwood Anderson short story cycle significant social South southern space spatial strategies structure suggests tion tradition trope W. E. B. Du Bois Waldo Frank Winesburg women writing wrote Young Americans