Harlem in review : critical reactions to Black American writers, 1917-1939 /

Harlem in Review charts critical responses to black American writers in the 1920s and 1930s. Based on broad research into American and African-American journals and newspapers, it includes more than a thousand annotated items and an introduction surveying major issues in the criticism. The Harlem Re...

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Main Author: Bassett, John Earl, 1942- (Author)
Format: Book
Language:English
Published:Selinsgrove : Susquehanna University Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1992.
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245 1 0 |a Harlem in review :  |b critical reactions to Black American writers, 1917-1939 /  |c John E. Bassett. 
260 |a Selinsgrove :  |b Susquehanna University Press ;  |a London ;  |a Cranbury, NJ :  |b Associated University Presses,  |c ©1992. 
300 |a 232 pages ;  |c 25 cm 
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500 |a Includes indexes. 
505 0 |a 1. The Early Years, 1917-1923. Fifty Years and Other Poems. Darkwater. Harlem Shadows. The Book of American Negro Poetry. Bronze. Cane. Criticism and Scholarship, 1917-1923 -- 2. Renaissance in Fiction and Verse, 1924-1927. Negro Poets and Their Poems. An Anthology of Verse by American Negroes. There Is Confusion. The Fire in the Flint. The Gift of Black Folk. Color. The New Negro. The Weary Blues. Flight. Tropic Death. Fine Clothes to the Jew. God's Trombones. Copper Sun. Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. Caroling Dusk. Plays of Negro Life. Criticism and Scholarship, 1924-1927 -- 3. Controversy Over Fiction of Race, 1928-1933. Home to Harlem. The Ballad of the Brown Girl. Quicksand. Dark Princess. The Walls of Jericho. An Autumn Love Cycle. The Blacker the Berry. Plum Bun. Banjo. Passing. The Black Christ and Other Poems. The Anthology of American Negro Literature. Not Without Laughter. Black Manhattan. Black No More. God Sends Sunday. The Book of American Negro Poet. Essentials: Definitions and Aphorisms. Slaves Today. The Chinaberry Tree. Infants of the Spring. One Way to Heaven. Gingertown. Southern Road. The Dream Keeper and Other Poems. Conjure Man Dies. Banana Bottom. Along This Way. Comedy: American Style. Criticism and Scholarship, 1928-1933 -- 4. Writing in the Great Depression, 1934-1939. Jonah's Gourd Vine. The Ways of White Folks. Ollie Miss. Mules and Men. The Medea and Some Poems. St. Peter Relates an Incident: Selected Poems. Black Man's Verse. Black Thunder. A Long Way from Home. River George. Their Eyes Were Watching God. These Low Grounds. I Am the American Negro. Uncle Tom's Children. Tell My Horse. Drums at Dusk. Let Me Breathe Thunder. To Make a Poet Black. O Canaan! Moses, Man of the Mountain. Criticism and Scholarship, 1934-1939 -- 5. Appendix: Selected Criticism, 1940-1944. The Big Sea. Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept. Harlem. The Lost Zoo. Heart-Shape in the Dust. Blood on the Forge. The Negro Caravan. Shakespeare in Harlem. Dust Tracks in the Road. No Day of Triumph. For My People. The White Face. New World a Coming. Rendezvous with America. Criticism and Scholarship, 1940-1944. 
520 |a Harlem in Review charts critical responses to black American writers in the 1920s and 1930s. Based on broad research into American and African-American journals and newspapers, it includes more than a thousand annotated items and an introduction surveying major issues in the criticism. The Harlem Renaissance inspired widespread interest in black culture as well as the first public debates among black writers about their own writing. With the publication of Harlem Shadows, Cane, and the early novels of Jessie Fauset and Walter White, American readers heard about contributions of "The New Negro" to literature. Anthologies of poetry and folklore made more texts in black culture available than ever before. Two issues divided black writers. One, articulated in a debate between Hughes and the more conservative George Schuyler, was over the value of using specifically black cultural forms and materials. The other issue, portrayal of black characters in fiction, can best be studied in reviews of McKay's and Fauset's novels. To some critics Home to Harlem was a stunning depiction of lower-class life. Others said that to focus on bums, prostitutes, and seedier aspects of life was pandering to prurient tastes of white readers. Fauset's fiction of "middle-class Negroes" was praised for portraying a neglected group but condemned as a set of timid stories acceptable to white Americans. White reviewers tended to address different issues--form, style, coherence of characterizations--at times condescendingly but often with favor, and they were divided over the success of McKay's episodic technique and Fauset's sentimentality. The best black critics, such as Rudolph Fisher and Wallace Thurman, addressed both kinds of issues effectively. In the 1930s poetry received less attention, and some of the most exciting intellectual activity among blacks was in the social sciences. A number of novelists gave a new momentum to fiction. As urban writers such as McKay, Thurman, Fauset, Fisher, and Nella Larsen completed their work in fiction or died, new writers of the Depression--Zora Neale Hurston, George Wylie Henderson, Waters Edward Turpin, Ama Bontemps--wrote novels of a rural world. While receiving fewer reviews than Faulkner, Wolfe, and Hemingway, they did get favorable responses from all parts of the country. At the same time debates over social realism and over political and aesthetic missions of writers divided black intellectuals. Outlets such as New Masses and the Daily Worker published manifestoes by engaged young writers like Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright; and Wright himself gave a new direction to black literature in the 1940s. In that decade a new generation of poets and novelists emerged, and black literature began to get its first attention in academic journals. 
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