Fascinating Rhythm: Reading Jazz in American Writing ePub (Adobe DRM) download by David Yaffe

Fascinating Rhythm: Reading Jazz in American Writing

Princeton University Press
Publication date: November 2005
ISBN: 9781400826803
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
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How have American writers written about jazz, and how has jazz influenced American literature? In Fascinating Rhythm, David Yaffe explores the relationship and interplay between jazz and literature, looking at jazz musicians and the themes literature has garnered from them by appropriating the style, tones, and innovations of jazz, and demonstrating that the poetics of jazz has both been assimilated into, and deeply affected, the development of twentieth-century American literature.

Yaffe explores how Jewish novelists such as Norman Mailer, J. D. Salinger, and Philip Roth engaged issues of racial, ethnic, and American authenticity by way of jazz; how Ralph Ellison's descriptions of Louis Armstrong led to a "neoconservative" movement in contemporary jazz; how poets such as Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, and Frank O'Hara were variously inspired by the music; and how memoirs by Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, and Miles Davis both reinforced and redeemed the red light origins of jazz. The book confronts the current jazz discourse and shows how poets and novelists can be placed in it--often with problematic results. Fascinating Rhythm stops to listen for the music, demonstrating how jazz continues to speak for the American writer.

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Fascinating Rhythm

David Yaffe really knows his stuff. If you like jazz and you like American literature you will not be displeased here. More specifically if you like the idea of what jazz has done for both fiction and memoire, then this book offers the reader moments of pleasure from both eye-opening theories and ones they can relate to. For lovers of Catcher in the Rye (of which, of course there are millions) this work presents many a situation where s/he will be agreeing loudly with the text. The author references a host of greats both music-wise and literature-wise. And he notes the obvious crossovers between media, while adding a few more. The combination of analysis and nods towards what can only be shear enjoyment of the text for the sake of, and from the stance of jazz and literature lovers, is a well-balanced one.
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