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While I can appreciate what Mr. Toomer was trying to accomplish, yet I was left disappointed. The complexity of the piece just seems as though he was trying to be different. Everyone wants to be different. The mix of prose, poetry and drama made the overall appearance of the book convoluted. You can never really be drawn in by anything in this work because you are never reading about the same setting or character long enough to become involved with them. The constant shifting of focus only distracts the reader. Those who like it are just on the bandwagon. While I understand that literature is a form of art, I believe the author was too "artsy" for his time. The short stories by themselves would have been great, as that is how I had to read this book to get through it. Mixing them altogether was confusing and irritating. However, many of the stories were well written and Toomer even does a wonderful job at creating a black southern dialect. The poetry is very obscure as I am sure most poetry is. While not being my cup of tea, the poetry did seem to relate to the stories it was near. Not for a casual reader.
Review: CaneUser Review - Pauline Kit - Goodreads
I read this for my Harlem Renaissance class and I'm so glad it was assigned. I'd previously never heard of Jean Toomer before that. This novel of interwoven stories does not take place in Harlem, but ... Read full review