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2 Remote Warehouse Literary Criticism- General

Nigger Heaven

by

Nigger Heaven Cover

ISBN13: 9780252068607
ISBN10: 0252068602
Condition:
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

No other contemporary novel received the volume and intensity of criticism and curiosity that greeted Nigger Heaven upon its publication in 1926. Carl Van Vechten's novel generated a storm of controversy because of its scandalous title and fed an insatiable hunger on the part of the reading public for material relating to the black culture of Harlem's jazz clubs, cabarets, and social events.<P>"The book and not the title is the thing", James Weldon Johnson insisted with regard to Nigger Heaven. Indeed, the book is a nuanced and vibrant portrait of "the great black walled city" of Harlem. Here upper-class elites discuss art in well-appointed drawing rooms; rowdy and lascivious drunks spend long nights in jazz clubs and speakeasies; and politically conscious young intellectuals drink coffee in walk-up apartments and debate "the race problem". At the center of the story, two young people — a quiet, serious librarian and a volatile aspiring writer — struggle to love each other as their dreams are slowly suffocated by racism.<P>This reissue is based on the seventh printing, which included poetry composed by Langston Hughes especially for the book. Kathleen Pfeiffer's astute introduction investigates the controversy surrounding the shocking title and shows how the novel functioned in its time as a site to contest racial violence. She also signals questions of racial authenticity and racial identity raised by a novel about black culture written by a white admirer of that culture.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. xxxv-xxxix).

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lukas, January 27, 2014 (view all comments by lukas)
Yeah, I know that title is off putting. If you're not already on edge, it was written by a white guy. Carl Van Vechten, however, was a tireless promoter of black writers/artists and this is a noble, if misguided attempt to portray black life in Harlem. On its release, it split black critics and prominent writers (DuBois, Weldon Johnson) and it still remains controversial. Years before Tarantino polarized audiences with his liberal use of the n-word, this guys was doing it. The book is more interesting now as a cultural time capsule than as literature. The blues and spiritual song lyrics interspersed throughout were written by Langston Hughes.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780252068607
Introduction:
Pfeiffer, Kathleen
Author:
Pfeiffer, Kathleen
Introduction by:
Pfeiffer, Kathleen
Introduction:
Pfeiffer, Kathleen
Author:
Van Vechten, Carl
Author:
Vechten, Carl Van
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Location:
Urbana :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
New york (state)
Subject:
Afro-americans
Subject:
Racism
Subject:
New York
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
Harlem
Subject:
Noirs amâericains
Subject:
Noir fiction
Subject:
Harlem (new york, n.y.)
Subject:
American
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
National Poetry Series
Series Volume:
99-14
Publication Date:
19991231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

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Product details 336 pages University of Illinois Press - English 9780252068607 Reviews:
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