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by Gayl Jones

eBook Liberating Voices: Oral Tradition in African American Literature download ISBN: 0674530241
Author: Gayl Jones
Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1st Edition edition (May 1, 1991)
Language: English
Pages: 228
ePub: 1147 kb
Fb2: 1607 kb
Rating: 4.8
Other formats: rtf docx lit txt
Category: Literature
Subcategory: History and Criticism

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by. Gayl Jones (Author). Find all the books, read about the author, and more. Are you an author? Learn about Author Central. ISBN-13: 978-0674530249.

Social Science, Ethnic Studies, African American Studies.

That my vocabulary wasn't like hers.

It took up a theme that, Jones had said in an interview appearing in the book Sturdy Black Bridges, also had animated her fictional efforts: One of things I was consciously concerned with was the technique from the oral storytelling tradition that could be used in writing.

African American literature, body of literature written by Americans of African descent. Beginning in the pre-Revolutionary War period, African American writers have engaged in a creative, if often contentious, dialogue with American letters. The result is a literature rich in expressive subtlety. In the early 19th century, the standard-bearers of African American literature spoke with heightening urgency of the need for whites to address the terrible sin of slavery.

Published: New York : Penguin Books, 1992, c1991.

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Vol 23 No 3 (1992): July 1992.

African American literature - is the body of literature produced in the United States by writers of African descent. National Book Award for Fiction - The National Book Award for Fiction has been given since 1950, as part of the National Book Awards, which are given annually by the National Book Foundation.

The powerful novelist here turns penetrating critic, giving us—in lively style—both trenchant literary analysis and fresh insight on the art of writing.

“When African American writers began to trust the literary possibilities of their own verbal and musical creations,” writes Gayl Jones, they began to transform the European and European American models, and to gain greater artistic sovereignty.” The vitality of African American literature derives from its incorporation of traditional oral forms: folktales, riddles, idiom, jazz rhythms, spirituals, and blues. Jones traces the development of this literature as African American writers, celebrating their oral heritage, developed distinctive literary forms.

The twentieth century saw a new confidence and deliberateness in African American work: the move from surface use of dialect to articulation of a genuine black voice; the move from blacks portrayed for a white audience to characterization relieved of the need to justify. Innovative writing—such as Charles Waddell Chesnutt’s depiction of black folk culture, Langston Hughes’s poetic use of blues, and Amiri Baraka’s recreation of the short story as a jazz piece—redefined Western literary tradition.

For Jones, literary technique is never far removed from its social and political implications. She documents how literary form is inherently and intensely national, and shows how the European monopoly on acceptable forms for literary art stifled American writers both black and white. Jones is especially eloquent in describing the dilemma of the African American writers: to write from their roots yet retain a universal voice; to merge the power and fluidity of oral tradition with the structure needed for written presentation. With this work Gayl Jones has added a new dimension to African American literary history.