Read e-book online Ethnic modernisms: Anzia Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean PDF

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By D. Konzett

ISBN-10: 0312293453

ISBN-13: 9780312293451

This examine explores a brand new knowing of modernism and ethnicity as recommend within the transnational and diasporic writings of Ania Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jean Rhys. In its choice of 3 modernists from it seems that diverse cultural backgrounds, it truly is intended to make us reconsider the function of modernism when it comes to ethnicity and displacement. Konzett evaluations the conventional figuring out of the monocultural “ethnic id” usually highlighted within the stories of those writers and argues that each one 3 writers are greater understood as ironic narrators of diaspora and move and as avant-garde modernists. hence, they provide another aesthetics of modernism, that is founded round the leading edge narration of displacement. Her research of the complexities of language and shape and impression of the complicated and ambiguous formal sorts of the 3 writers at the heritage in their reception is a version of the potent integration of formalist, historicist, and theoretical views in literary feedback.

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Extra resources for Ethnic modernisms: Anzia Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Rhys, and the aesthetics of dislocation

Sample text

They must always behave and obey the nurse. We must always listen to the bells. Bell one was for getting up. Bell two, for getting babies’ bottles. Bell three, for coming to breakfast. Bell four, for bathing the babies. (FVH 108–09) The mocking tone is here deliberately infantile, as the mother mouths back the house rules with exaggerated accent and pronunciation. The unvoiced “s” in “dassen’t” gives the phrase a foreign ring, mocking at once the persistence of foreign accents in English and Germanic rules of discipline.

As we will see, however, the inarticulateness and ambivalence that are often attributed to Yezierska’s work reveal in profound ways the untranslatable experience of cultural difference and dislocation. 12 Following in the revisionist strain of recent Yezierska criticism, this chapter will explore in detail the author’s modernist aesthetics as articulated in her short stories, novels, and autobiography, as well as in Goldwyn Studios’ film adaptation of Hungry Hearts. Though not innovative in high cultural and aesthetic concerns traditionally associated with modernism, Yezierska’s work must be seen from within the modernist context of an emerging ethnic avant-garde exploring the question of cultural identity in a new and provocative manner.

From the start of her writing career, Yezierska consciously employed the immigrant idiom as seen in “The Free Vacation House” (1915), her first work to be published and which would later appear in Hungry Hearts. Though she struggled to make it appear natural and would afterward even misrepresent herself as an undisciplined writer who had never left the ghetto, Yezierska had great difficulty writing in the idiom that years of schooling and close contact with philanthropic institutions had erased.

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Ethnic modernisms: Anzia Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Rhys, and the aesthetics of dislocation by D. Konzett


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