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9780745313344

Looking For Harlem Urban Aesthetics in African-American Literature

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780745313344

  • ISBN10:

    0745313345

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2000-12-20
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

Taking the incredible flowering of African-American literature in the 1920s as its starting point, this book offers a cogent & persuasive new reading of a diverse range of twentieth-century black American writing. From the streets, subways, hotels, & cabarets of New York's Harlem & Chicago's Southside, Maria Balshaw moves beyond the canon to encompass often neglected writing by Rudolph Fisher, Wallace Thurman, & Claude McKay, as well as the more familiar work of Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Nella Larsen, & Toni Morrison. In a provocative revision of African-American literary history, Balshaw examines the creation of an "urban aesthetic" & explores the links between the engagement with the city & fictional reconstruction of racial identity & race writing. Focusing on the material culture of the city, the visual sense of the urban environment, the class dynamics of urban culture & the crucial importance of consumerism, this study presents a critically astute, challenging & very welcome new approach to a much-studied area of contemporary American fiction.

Author Biography

Maria Balshaw is a research fellow, specialising in issues of race and gender in urban literature and theory at the University of Birmingham. She is the co-editor, with Liam Kennedy, of Urban Representations, also available from Pluto Press.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix
Introduction 1(5)
The Criteria of Negro Art
6(4)
The Race Capital
10(4)
New Negroes, New Spaces
14(16)
Racialised Urbanity
17(3)
From the Harlem Special Issue to The New Negro
20(3)
Fire!! Magazine
23(7)
Space, Race and Identity
30(14)
The H of Harlem
32(4)
Harlem Hierarchies: Racial Performance, Social Space
36(2)
The Conjure Man Dies
38(6)
Passing and the Spectacle of Harlem
44(28)
New Women, New Negroes
46(6)
Spectacle, Race and Gender
52(9)
Danse Sauvage
61(2)
Passing Encounters, City Scenes
63(6)
A Vital, Glowing Thing
69(3)
Women in the City of Refuge
72(25)
`The Closing Door'
75(4)
The Silent Story
79(4)
`On Being Young -- A Woman -- and Colored'
83(3)
Frye Street: All the World is There
86(2)
`Nothing New'
88(6)
Black Notes/City Notes
94(3)
Consumer Desire and Domestic Urbanism
97(26)
Reading the Urban Domestic
101(6)
The Street
107(2)
Reading the Signs Inside
109(8)
Small Victories
117(6)
Elegies to Harlem
123(18)
Looking For Langston
126(3)
Looking For...or At?
129(5)
Bitch or Dumpling Girl
134(7)
Conclusion 141(2)
Notes 143(23)
Index 166

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