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Resisting History by In a major reinterpretation, Resisting History reveals that women, as subjects of writing and as writing subjects themselves, played a far more important role in shaping the landscape of modernism than has been previously acknowledged. Here Barbara Ladd offers powerful new readings of three southern writers who reimagined authorship between World War I and the mid-1950s. Ladd argues that the idea of a "new woman" -- released from some of the traditional constraints of family and community, more mobile, and participating in new contractual forms of relationality -- precipitated a highly productive authorial crisis of gender in William Faulkner. As "new women" themselves, Zora Neale Hurston and Eudora Welty explored the territory of the authorial sublime and claimed, for themselves and other women, new forms of cultural agency. Together, these writers expose a territory of female suffering and aspiration that has been largely ignored in literary histories. In opposition to the belief that women's lives, and dreams, are bound up in ideas of community and pre-contractual forms of relationality, Ladd demonstrates that all three writers -- Faulkner in As I Lay Dying, Welty in selected short stories and in The Golden Apples, and Hurston in Tell My Horse -- place women in territories where community is threatened or nonexistent and new opportunities for self-definition can be seized. And in A Fable, Faulkner undertakes a related project in his exploration of gender and history in an era of world war, focusing on men, mourning, and resistance and on the insurgences of the "masses" -- the feminized "others" of history -- in order to rethink authorship and resistance for a totalitarian age. Filled with insights and written with obvious passion for the subject, Resisting History challenges received ideas about history as a coherent narrative and about the development of U.S. modernism and points the way to new histories of literary and cultural modernisms in which the work of women shares center stage with the work of men.
Publication Date: 2012-01-02
Student Companion to Zora Neale Hurston by Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the most controversial yet prominent figures associated with the Harlem Renaissance. This introductory study examines Hurston's contributions to that literary movement, as well as her role as mediator between the black and white worlds in which she lived. Readers will appeciate the clear presentation of the biographical facts of her life, as well as an overview of the issues and varying perceptions surrounding her literary achievements. A full chapter is devoted to analysing each of Hurston's major works of fiction: Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939), Seraph on the Suwanee (1948) as well as her short fiction and her fictionalized autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road (1942). For each of the works, plot, character development, themes, setting and symbols are identified and discussed in clear accessible language. An alternate critical perspective enhances the understanding of each of Hurston's full length works. Contemporary reviews are cited in a bibliography which also helps students find further biographical and critical information on Zora Neale Hurston.
Publication Date: 2001-07-30
What We Say, Who We Are by In What We Say, Who We Are: Leopold Senghor, Zora Neale Hurston, and the Philosophy of Language, Parker English explores the commonality between Leopold Senghor's concept of "negritude" and Zora Neale Hurston's view of "Negro expression." For English, these two concepts emphasize that a person's view of herself is above all dictated by the way in which she talks about herself. Focusing on what he identifies as "performism," English discusses the presentational/representational and externalistic/internalistic facets of "performism" as they relate to the ideas of Senghor and Hurston. English ends his work by closely examining Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God in light of his discussion of "performism," and draws new, intriguing conclusions about the extent to which Hurston's main character exemplifies W.E.B. DuBois's concept of double-consciousness. What We Say, Who We Are will certainly pique the interest of scholars interested in Africana studies, African-American literature, and the philosophy of language.
Publication Date: 2009-10-26
Zora Neale Hurston by This new biography takes into account the whole woman--not just the prolific author of such great works as Their Eyes Were Watching God, Moses, Man of the Mountain, Jonah's Gourd Vine, Mules and Men, as well as essays, folklore, short stories, and poetry--but the philosopher and the spiritual soul, examining how each is reflected in her career, fiction and nonfiction publications, social and political activity, and, ultimately, her death. When we ask what animated the woman who achieved all that she did, we must necessarily probe further. Not one of the other existing biographies discusses or analyzes Hurston's spirituality in any sustained sense, even though this spirituality played a significant role in her life and works. As author Deborah G. Plant shows, Zora Neale Hurston's ability to achieve and to endure all she did came from the courage of her convictions--a belief in self that was profoundly centered and anchored in spirituality.
Publication Date: 2007-08-30
Zora Neale Hurston by Though she died penniless and forgotten, Zora Neale Hurston is now recognized as a major figure in African American literature. Best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, she also published numerous short stories and essays, three other novels, and two books on black folklore. Even avid readers of Hurston's prose, however, may be surprised to know that she was also a serious and ambitious playwright throughout her career. Although several of her plays were produced during her lifetime--and some to public acclaim--they have languished in obscurity for years. Even now, most critics and historians gloss over these texts, treating them as supplementary material for understanding her novels. Yet, Hurston's dramatic works stand on their own merits and independently of her fiction. Now, eleven of these forgotten dramatic writings are being published together for the first time in this carefully edited and annotated volume. Filled with lively characters, vibrant images of rural and city life, biblical and folk tales, voodoo, and, most importantly, the blues, readers will discover a "real Negro theater" that embraces all the richness of black life.
Publication Date: 2008-06-03
Zora Neale Hurston and American Literary Culture by Genevieve West examines the cultural history of Zora Neale Hurston's writing and the reception of her work, in an attempt to explain why Hurston died in obscure poverty only to be reclaimed as an important Harlem Renaissance writer decades after her death. Unlike other books on Hurston, this study focuses on how Hurston was marketed and reviewed during her career and how literary scholars reappraised her after her death. While her publisher's approach to marketing Hurston as an African American fiction writer and folklorist increased her popularity among the general reading public, her fellow Harlem Renaissance authors often excoriated her as an exploiter of African American culture and a propagator of black stereotypes. Eventually, the criticism outweighed the popularity, and her writing fell out of fashion. It was only after critics reconsidered her work in the 1960s and 1970s that she eventually regained her status as one of the best writers of her generation. No other book has focused on this aspect of Hurston's career, nor has any book so systematically used marketing materials and reviews to track Hurston's literary reputation. As a result, West's study will provide a new perspective on Hurston and on the ways that the politics of race, class, and gender impact canon formation in American literary culture. This study is based on numerous interviews, short fiction previously undocumented in Hurston scholarship, an innovative analysis of advertisements and dust jackets, examinations of letters by and about Hurston, and the examination of historical/literary contexts, including the Harlem Renaissance, the protest movement, the assimilationist movement, the Black Arts movement, and the rise of black feminist thought.
Publication Date: 2005-06-30