By Jean Toomer
“A step forward in prose and poetical writing. . . . This publication can be on all readers’ and writers’ desks and of their minds.”—Maya Angelou
First released in 1923, Jean Toomer’s Cane is an cutting edge literary work—part drama, half poetry, half fiction—powerfully evoking black existence within the South. wealthy in imagery, Toomer’s impressionistic, occasionally surrealistic sketches of Southern rural and concrete existence are permeated by means of visions of smoke, sugarcane, nightfall, and fireplace; the northern global is pictured as a harsher truth of asphalt streets. This iconic paintings of yankee literature is released with a brand new afterword by way of Rudolph Byrd of Emory college and Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard college, who supply groundbreaking biographical info on Toomer, position his writing in the context of yank modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, and think about his moving claims approximately his personal race and his pioneering critique of race as a systematic or organic notion.
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The third chapter deals with The Apes of God, which is no one's favorite book. 39 Gestured toward rather than carefully appraised, The Apes of God remains a massive and inscrutable volume buried in the plains of modernism as part of a kind of literary Stonehenge, a monolith admired from afar in the company of books such as Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans, works whose weight and apparent unintelligibility are seemingly more interesting in the fact of their group existence than as individual artifacts.
The fragmentation of society's vision of the individual was also a fragmentation of the creative self. In conflating Romance with temporality and modernity itself, Lewis reserved his most vituperative attacks for the 44 Fictions of James Joyce and Wyndham Lewis philosophy of Bergson. The French philosopher's conception of reality as a product of temporal flux was the ultimate acceptance of fragmentation as man's authentic condition. Lewis's fundamental objections were typically painterly. Bergson's subordination of space to time as the determinant of the real subverted the integrity of the image.
If Lewis calls for a Coleridgean apprehension of creativity as an organic process he also rejects organicism as art's enemy. On one hand, "the one purpose... of a work of Art... Si, 140) but it must be a different "life" than that of nature, for a few pages earlier he states that art is "no EQUIVALENT for Life, but ANOTHER life, as NECESSARY to existence as the former" (Bi, 130). As with the term " nature," however, the word " life " appears largely throughout Blast only pejoratively as part of the argument against phenomena that stand against, rather than inform, art.