In this Book

summary
The first book to reassess Ralph Ellison after his death and the posthumous publication of Juneteenth, his second novel, Jazz Country: Ralph Ellison in America explores Ellison's writings and views on American culture through the lens of jazz music.

Horace Porter's groundbreaking study addresses Ellison's jazz background, including his essays and comments about jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Parker. Porter further examines the influences of Ellington and Armstrong as sources of the writer's personal and artistic inspiration and highlights the significance of Ellison's camaraderie with two African American friends and fellow jazz fans—the writer Albert Murray and the painter Romare Bearden. Most notably, Jazz Country demonstrates how Ellison appropriated jazz techniques in his two novels, Invisible Man and Juneteenth.

Using jazz as the key metaphor, Porter refocuses old interpretations of Ellison by placing jazz in the foreground and by emphasizing, especially as revealed in his essays, the power of Ellison's thought and cultural perception. The self-proclaimed “custodian of American culture,” Ellison offers a vision of “jazz-shaped” ;America—a world of improvisation, individualism, and infinite possibility.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. ii-v
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. xi
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  1. Chronology
  2. pp. xiii-xv
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  1. Jazz States Ralph Waldo Ellison’s Major Chords
  2. pp. 1-16
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  1. 1Jazz Essays Ellison on Charlie Christian,Jimmy Rushing, Mahalia Jackson,and Lester Young
  2. pp. 17-31
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  1. 2Jazz Icons Ellison on Duke Ellington,Louis Armstrong, and Charlie Parker
  2. pp. 32-48
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  1. 3Jazz Trio Ralph Ellison, Romare Bearden, and Albert Murray
  2. pp. 49-71
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  1. 4Jazz Underground Invisible Man as Jazz Text
  2. pp. 72-91
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  1. 5. Jazz in Progress
  2. pp. 92-104
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  1. 6. Jazz Preaching
  2. pp. 105-119
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  1. 7. Jazz Trumpet No End
  2. pp. 120-148
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 149-158
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 159-168
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781587294051
MARC Record
OCLC
56109526
Pages
184
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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