Jean Toomer Rudolph P. Byrd / Aug 17, 2019

Cane A breakthrough in prose and poetical writing This book should be on all readers and writers desks and in their minds Maya AngelouFirst published in Jean Toomer s Cane is an innovative literary w

  • Title: Cane
  • Author: Jean Toomer Rudolph P. Byrd
  • ISBN: 9780871402103
  • Page: 412
  • Format: Paperback
  • A breakthrough in prose and poetical writing This book should be on all readers and writers desks and in their minds Maya AngelouFirst published in 1923, Jean Toomer s Cane is an innovative literary work part drama, part poetry, part fiction powerfully evoking black life in the South Rich in imagery, Toomer s impressionistic, sometimes surrealistic sketches of South A breakthrough in prose and poetical writing This book should be on all readers and writers desks and in their minds Maya AngelouFirst published in 1923, Jean Toomer s Cane is an innovative literary work part drama, part poetry, part fiction powerfully evoking black life in the South Rich in imagery, Toomer s impressionistic, sometimes surrealistic sketches of Southern rural and urban life are permeated by visions of smoke, sugarcane, dusk, and fire the northern world is pictured as a harsher reality of asphalt streets This iconic work of American literature is published with a new afterword by Rudolph Byrd of Emory University and Henry Louis Gates Jr of Harvard University, who provide groundbreaking biographical information on Toomer, place his writing within the context of American modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, and examine his shifting claims about his own race and his pioneering critique of race as a scientific or biological concept.

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    • Best Read [Jean Toomer Rudolph P. Byrd] ñ Cane || [Classics Book] PDF ☆
      412 Jean Toomer Rudolph P. Byrd
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    About "Jean Toomer Rudolph P. Byrd"

      • Jean Toomer Rudolph P. Byrd

        Jean Toomer December 26, 1894 March 30, 1967 was an American poet and novelist and an important figure of the Harlem Renaissance and modernism His first book Cane, published in 1923, is considered by many to be his most significant Of mixed race and majority European ancestry, Toomer struggled to identify as an American and resisted efforts to classify him as a black writer.He continued to write poetry, short stories and essays After his second marriage in 1934, he moved from New York to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he became a member of the Religious Society of Friends also known as Quakers and retired from public life His papers are held by the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale University from


    1. Powerful and poetic vignettes of blacks in rural Georgia and immigrants to the Washington D.C. area near the turn of the 20th century. We feel their daily integration with their mind-numbing, dusty work in the cane fields or saw mills and feel their struggle against internalized forms of racism and sexism. In the urban environment, we feel their mix of hopes for promised freedom and of their alienation and despair of continual poverty. Some find a connection in churches to the values from their [...]

    2. An astonishingly beautiful, sensual, lyrical, formally experimental book. In character vignettes of one, two, three pages interleaved with short poems, Toomer explores the lives of black people, mostly in the rural south, specifically a tiny hamlet dominated by a sawmill (marked mostly by smells and sounds), sugar cane fields and pines, the timeseason--autumn, the time, dusk. In fact, every story in this collection could be called 'Dusk'--with all its overtones. Though largely rural, a couple of [...]

    3. This is quite a brilliant, remarkable, and odd book that somehow no one told me personally that I should read. Why has the secret been kept? Okay, a recent check confirms that Bloom had it on his Western Canon list. But Toomer's just a name, how was I supposed to know he's actually good?It is, to a large extent, a portrait of many of the horrors and a few of the beauties of small-town post-slavery but-still-gravely-unjust southern life from a black perspective. It's also an uncharaterizable amal [...]

    4. This was a thoroughly strange and surreal book, made all the more surreal by the fact that it was one of the first avant-garde black American novels. Toomer's world explodes with color and light, with shades of Faulkner and Sherwood Anderson. If there is a document of American magical realism, this is it. It's too easy when describing the rural black South to rely on stereotypes and minstrelsy (Zora Neale Hurston, I'm looking at you). Toomer, to his credit, doesn't, at all. His world is too damn [...]

    5. Two readerships here for which this one is UEber=pertinent ::1) readers of the Classics of African=American fiction.2) readers of things experimental in the category of It's Not Really a Novel (but what then is it?)3) Also, for readers of I Ain't An African=American Author and I Don't Write Experimental Novels/Stuff.Really, this is one of the places it all began.

    6. Though not as well known as Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer is considered one of the shining stars of the Harlem Renaissance and this collection of short stories and poems is his best work. Published in the early 20's, it shows the influence of many writers of that period who were especially fascinated with the technique of repetition -- sentences, clauses, phrases, words, you name it. It's a tricky skill, as repetition can be both effective and annoying. Sherwood Anderson and Ernest Hemingway, in [...]

    7. This one is a gem; the writing is gorgeous, the stories absorbing. P-thought of you, this is a definite genre bender with episodic chapters/short stories and poetry, always referred to as a novel. Toomer is often grouped with the Harlem Renaissance and the stories center on the reverse migration of a urban Northern man to the rural South. However, Toomer never worked with black themes again and did not consider himself part of that community. As such the book exhibits a fractured experience and [...]

    8. I enjoyed this. I really think everyone should read at least a couple of poems from this book. Or some of the short stories. My favorite was "Bona and Paul."Now it's time to write my english paper on this. :/

    9. I was astonished that I had never heard of this book. I picked it up at random off the shelf at my local library. It is a thin book, poetic, spiritual, and revealing of the black culture in Jim Crow south in the 1920's in America. It is stunning writing. As a person interested in words and letting words carry the narrative, it is simply beautiful. Toomer's care with words carries a narrative of a world which existed, and still exists, parallel to Anglo-Saxon culture. The story, which seems rando [...]

    10. More like 4 1/2 stars, but I'll round up just because I haven't rated any books 5 stars this year yet.Jean Toomer's Cane really is a "literary masterpiece." I was in awe of his style and form, how he utilizes devices we associate with theater in a novel. I also loved the comparison of the North vs. the South, especially embodied in the last short story, "Kabnis."I've got to say "The Box Seat" is my favorite story, though, followed closely by "Bona and Paul."LOVE the Harlem Renaissance!!!

    11. I wish I studied this book in college. Cane is a fragmented piece of art composed of prose, poetry, and drama. I've never read anything like it before. The language is beautiful and rich. I needed to consume it in small bites so it didn't overwhelm me.

    12. It's so difficult to categorize Cane. For the sake of convenience, one could call it a novel, and that is generally how the work is treated. But novel really neither describes the book accurately nor does it justice. Cane is an incantory combination of poetry and prose, vignettes that are loosely held together by the common theme of black American life in rural Georgia at the turn of the twentieth century. But the prose is highly poetic: "Pine needles, like mazda, are brilliantly aglow. No rain [...]

    13. Toomer had an interesting pedigree: he was considered a Northerner by many Southerners, and a Southerner by many Northerners. This was in part because both of his grandmothers were left plantations by white men, making them among the most prosperous citizens in the dirt poor communities around Sparta, Georgia. Toomer spent some summers with his grandmothers during childhood and even was the principal of a school in Sparta for a short time before leaving for Paris. From this perspective, he wrote [...]

    14. “Cane” blew me away. Southern literature, in my opinion, contains some of the most powerful and immortal books in the American literary canon. The dark, enchanted history of the South brings forth ample material for colorful characters and complex social issues. Novels born in the South are born out of and into its troubled past–a landscape fraught with the difficult union of charmed myth and bloody reality. Toomer taps into the tragic legacy of slavery to write one of the best, most endur [...]

    15. It is no wonder Alice Walker was deeply inspired by this slender but powerful, poetic, and quietly damning book.

    16. Mairin gave me this after I expressed some tiredness with the lack of artistry in some of what I've been reading lately. And yes, it was very powerfully and beautifully written. Harlem Renaissance is a new area for me. There's this wonderful naturalness and earthiness to the writing. It's odd, because my first thought was that these people are not of this land, and have been forcibly located here only a few generations earlier, and yet there is a deep harmony with the place they occupy, if not t [...]

    17. I read this for the first time as an undergrad. It didn't appeal to me then, but this time 'round, things were a bit more clear. I think that the most important issue this novel touches is that of identity. For Toomer himself, this was a huge problem. We see this come to the surface in many (if not all) of his character sketches.The jagged style of writing is a bit confusing for many, but for your students, relate it to the movements of jazz music and the lights turn on.This is a stunning exampl [...]

    18. Gorgeous, insightful poetry mixed in with short micro-stories that combine to create a rich impression of life for black folks in the south after the Reconstruction.The last third of the book was comprised of a single story line that I just couldn't quite connect to. But, the first two-thirds was brilliant. And I typically don't even like poetry.

    19. Un capolavoro assoluto, un'opera unica in quello che forse fu il decennio d'oro della narrativa statunitense; qui pubblicato in un'ottima edizione. Dicono sia fuori catalogo; ma se vi capita di averlo per le mani (biblioteche, bancarelle, prestiti, furti) questo �� un libro che vale assolutamente la pena di leggere. Nathan Eugene "Jean" Toomer, nipote per parte di madre del primo governatore di colore della Louisiana (che guardacaso fino a quel punto si era dichiarato bianco), pass�� inf [...]

    20. Un capolavoro assoluto, un'opera unica in quello che forse fu il decennio d'oro della narrativa statunitense; qui pubblicato in un'ottima edizione.Dicono sia fuori catalogo; ma se vi capita di averlo per le mani (biblioteche, bancarelle, prestiti, furti) questo è un libro che vale assolutamente la pena di leggere.Nathan Eugene "Jean" Toomer, nipote per parte di madre del primo governatore di colore della Louisiana (che guardacaso fino a quel punto si era dichiarato bianco), passò infanzia e gi [...]

    21. This was an interesting read for the historically important role it played. Some of the stories and phrases stood out to me, but overall I found it lagged a bit. My version had an excellent afterword with very detailed discussion about the author's biography and ideas.

    22. I really enjoyed this book. It has a potency and immediacy to it. It's very vibrant, lyrical, and pungent. On the one hand there is the theme of a rupturing racial identity, and on the other an aspiration to transcend race. Sometimes it falls into internal racial conflict, where the protagonist is at war with his own identity. And sometimes it seems to lift off, so to speak, in poetical flight, in a soulful manner, beyond the social definitions and barriers of race, in poetry, in spirit.There is [...]

    23. Cane is a mixture of verse, prose, and drama, making it a challenging collection to read. Most of Toomer's pieces are set in the South, though he also writes about Chicago and D. C. Toomer's focus in this collection was on alienation - between races, sexes, and largely any two people who happen to come together. The stories and poems reflect much of the alienation Toomer felt as an African-American who was light-skinned enough to pass for white, but also the alienation of African-Americans from [...]

    24. #2016-usa-geography-challenge: GEORGIAPublished in 1923 during 'The Harlem Renaissance,' this slim volume is a collection of short stories, vignettes and poems in the modernist style of that era, expressing 'the pain and beauty of the South.' The first group is set in rural Georgia, the second in Washington DC and Chicago and the last story (part three) entitled 'Kabnis' appears to be somewhat autobiographical--about a northern black man who moves to Georgia to teach in the turbulent times of se [...]

    25. This was a really thought-provoking book - I can't really call it a novel or a novella, or anything really. I thought the structure, although unconventional, was interesting: the lack of a coherent narrative and the mixture of prose and poetry meant that we got an overall impression of life for black Americans during the period, rather than following one person's story. At times this was frustrating, but I think it was a successful attempt to challenge conventional genres - it's a Modernist text [...]

    26. An unforgettable gem from the Harlem Renaissance era. Breathtakingly beautiful in his descriptions, Toomer broke the boundaries of the traditional novel or book at that time by including vignettes, poetry and a play within this book. Toomer is one of the best writers of that era but not as well known. This book is still touted in literary circles and influences some of the great writers of our time, including Toni Morrison. I highly recommend it.

    27. Beautiful, lyrical, complex, maddening, amazing. You feel like you can taste the dust, the blood, and the music of the rural South after reading it. This is one of the "masterpieces" of the Harlem Renaissance. The interesting metaphor of "dusk" recurs in parallel with the northward migration of blacks during Reconstruction and the loss of indigenous life and music. This book is experimental in terms of genre-blending (including poetry, short story, factual narrative, etc.) in way that gets one t [...]

    28. I only ended up reading "Cane," not the reviews and criticisms (except for the intro and the first essay, which i think was an intro to an early edition), though I'd like to go back and read them sometime. I definitely had a fuller view of the work's context from the little I did read about Toomer's life and ideas. With or without the essays, a beautiful and interesting book (these words seem too totally positive for conveying the complexity of the book and its depictions and examinations of str [...]

    29. This book is fascinating, poignant and extremely well composed.The thing is, it was composed in a fairly atypical, very fragmented and disjointed fashion. There are pages that are utter dynamite and completely hook you, but there are others that are dry and purely symbolic imagery. I don't mind fragmented, but there is simply not enough compelling connective tissue in this work that allowed me to appreciate it as much as I would have liked.I can totally see how it's a classic work, it's just not [...]

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