A Jean Toomer Reader: Selected Unpublished Writings

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byJean ToomerEditorFrederik L. Rusch

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Jean Toomer achieved instant recognition as a critic and thinker in 1923 with the publication of his novel Cane, a harsh, eloquent vision of black American hardship and suffering. But because of his reclusive, introspective nature, Toomer's fame waned in later years, and today his othercontributions to American thought and literature are all but forgotten. Now, this collection of unpublished writings restores a crucial dimension to our understanding of this important African American author. Thematically arranging letters, sketches, poems, autobiography, short stories, a play, anda children's story, Frederik Rusch offers insight into Toomer's mind and spirituality, his feelings on racial identity in America, and his attitudes toward and ideas about Cane. Rusch highlights Toomer's reflections on America, its people, landscape, and politics, reveals his significance for theproblems and issues of today, and helps us understand Toomer not only as writer, but also as social critic, prophet, mystic, and idealist. Exploring Toomer's attempts to find self-realization and transcend social and cultural definitions of race, this book offers a unique view of the United Statesthrough the life of one of its most significant and fascinating intellectuals.

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Jean Toomer achieved instant recognition as a critic and thinker in 1923 with the publication of his novel Cane, a harsh, eloquent vision of black American hardship and suffering. But because of his reclusive, introspective nature, Toomer's fame waned in later years, and today his othercontributions to American thought and literature a...

Frederik L. Rusch is at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.06 × 0.71 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195083296

ISBN - 13:9780195083293

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Table of Contents

I. Cane1. Pre-CaneLetter to Waldo Frank, John McClure, Frank, The Liberator, Lola Ridge, Sherwood Anderson2. CaneLetter to Gorham Munson, Kenneth Macgowan, Frank3. Post-CaneLetter to Frank, Horace LiverightII. The Mystical ExperienceThe ExperienceIII. The Negro, the Blue Man, and the New RaceIntroduction: Prejudice; Germ Carriers; The Fable of a Creature2. The NegroNegro Psychology in The Emperor JonesLetter to Sherwood AndersonThe Negro Emergent3. The Blue ManLetter to Horace Liveright, Waldo FrankNot Typically AmericanFighting the Vice4. The New RaceA New Race in AmericaLetter to James Weldon JohnsonThe AmericansOppose the Force, Not the ManMankind Means BrotherhoodIV. Caught in the MachineTo DykeSellingF. Scott Fitzgerald: A Comment on the Vegetable byDrackmanThe Scottsboro BoysAmerican LetterTo SleepLove on a TrainMan's Home CompanionLumpThe Spoken WordWinter RoadGeorge WashingtonAtomic EnergyV. A Children's StoryMonroviaVI. The Land1 Introduction. Highways Should Be RightwaysIt Used to BeWhy These?The Extremes Are Great2. The NortheastNew YorkThe Brilliant Brotherhood: New York City during the Mystical Experience of 1926DoylestownThe Presence of a Field3. The SouthNight4. Chicago5. New MexicoTo the Land of the PeopleRainbowThe Dust of AbiquiuTaos NightNew Mexico after IndiaPart of the UniverseSanta Fe Sequence6. CaliforniaCarombAmerica's Proposed Riveria: A Chicagoan's Impressions of Los AngelesVII. EpilogueMusicA Double PortraitTo Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred StieglitzTired, I have come to the doorBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"A valuable addition to the primary source materials on Toomer."--Joseph McLaren, Hofstra University