New PDF release: A Long Way from Home (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the

By Claude McKay

ISBN-10: 0813539676

ISBN-13: 9780813539676

ISBN-10: 0813542634

ISBN-13: 9780813542638

Claude McKay (1889–1948) used to be probably the most prolific and complex African American writers of the early 20th century. A Jamaican-born writer of poetry, brief tales, novels, and nonfiction, McKay has usually been linked to the “New Negro” or Harlem Renaissance, a move of African American artwork, tradition, and intellectualism among global struggle I and the good melancholy. yet his dating to the circulation was once complicated. actually absent from Harlem in the course of that interval, he committed such a lot of his time to touring via Europe, Russia, and Africa in the course of the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties. His energetic participation in Communist teams and the unconventional Left additionally inspired definite critiques on race and sophistication that strained his courting to the Harlem Renaissance and its black intelligentsia. In his 1937 autobiography, A good way from Home, McKay explains what it skill to be a black “rebel sojourner” and offers one of many first unflattering, but informative, exposés of the Harlem Renaissance. Reprinted the following with a severe creation by way of Gene Andrew Jarrett, this ebook will problem readers to reconsider McKay’s articulation of identification, artwork, race, and politics and situate those themes when it comes to his oeuvre and his literary contemporaries among the realm wars.

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I had accumulated much, and from the fullness of my heart I poured myself out with passion of love and hate, of sorrow and joy, writing out of myself, waiting for an audience. At last my chance had come. My ambition was about to be realized. The editor had written enthusiastically: “Come in to see me and let us know one another. . ” Wonderful day! Marvelous riding! Everybody happy, going home, but I was the happiest. Steward and men commented on my exuberant spirit and joked about the possible cause.

Opening the door for me himself he said the butler had gone home. I was surprised by his littleness. I knew that he was small of stature, but did not expect him to be as diminutive as he was. But his voice was great and growling like a friendly lion’s with strength and dignity and seemingly made him larger than he actually was. “You are the poet,” his voice rolled as he gripped my hand. He stepped back and scrutinized me before indicating a seat. He explained that he was speculating whether I reminded him of any special African type, for he had traveled in South Africa, West Africa, East Africa and the Sudan.

Capitalizing on his dark skin color, he claimed that he was authentically black, that is, more pure-blooded than the lighterskinned intellectuals and political activists around him. He came to realize that in order to enjoy the privilege of attending Communist congresses, he had to perform like a “typical Negro” who not only looked black but demonstrated a peculiarly racial vision of the world (chapter 16). Further empowering himself as a political spokesman for the race, McKay expressed his opinion of the organizational failings of African 000 fm (i-xl) 12/5/06 2:34 PM Page xxx x x x • introduction Americans to Trotsky, who believed that they were “backward,” required “uplift,” and overlooked the benefits of the “labor movement” (chapter 19).

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A Long Way from Home (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas) by Claude McKay


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