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Author North, Michael, 1951-

Title The dialect of modernism : race, language, and twentieth-century literature / Michael North
Published New York : Oxford University Press, 1994
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Description 1 online resource (252 pages) : illustrations
Series Race and American culture
Race and American culture.
Contents Against the standard : linguistic imitation, racial masquerade, and the modernist rebellion -- The nigger of the "Narcissus" as a preface to modernism -- Modernism's African mask : the Stein-Picasso collaboration -- Old Possum and Brer Rabbit : Pound and Eliot's racial masquerade -- Quashie to Buccra : the linguistic expatriation of Claude McKay -- Race, the American language, and the Americanist avant-garde -- Two strangers in the American language : William Carlos Williams and Jean Toomer -- "Characteristics of Negro expression" : Zora Neale Hurston and the Negro anthology
Summary At the same time, however, another movement identified with Harlem was struggling to free itself from the very dialect the modernists appropriated, at least as it had been rendered by two generations of white dialect writers. For writers such as Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, and Zora Neale Hurston, this dialect became a barrier as rigid as the standard language itself, and its appropriation served to reinforce the subordinate status of the dialect. Thus, the two modern movements, which arrived simultaneously in 1922, were linked and divided by their different stakes in the same language. In The Dialect of Modernism, Michael North shows, through biographical and historical investigation, and through careful readings of major literary works, that however different they were, the two movements are inextricably connected, and thus, cannot be considered in isolation. Each was marked, for good and bad, by the other
The Dialect of Modernism is the second volume in Oxford's new Race and American Culture series
The Dialect of Modernism uncovers the crucial role of racial masquerade and linguistic imitation in the emergence of literary modernism. Rebelling against the standard language and literature written in it, modernists such as Joseph Conrad, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams reimagined themselves as racial aliens and mimicked the strategies of dialect speakers in their work. In doing so, they made possible the most radical representational strategies of modern literature, which emerged from their attack on the privilege of standard language
Analysis English literature Modernism
United States
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 197-244) and index
Notes Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
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Subject Conrad, Joseph, 1857-1924. Nigger of the Narcissus
African Americans in literature.
African Americans -- Intellectual life -- 20th century.
American literature -- African American authors -- History and criticism.
American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
Black English in literature.
Dialect literature, American -- History and criticism.
Language and culture.
Modernism (Literature) -- English-speaking countries.
Race in literature.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 93036288
ISBN 0195359100
1429405767 (electronic bk.)
9781429405768 (electronic bk.)