The critical locus of this essay is a consideration of how two interwar texts—Ernest Hemingway's American expatriate novel, The Sun Also Rises (1926), and Claude McKay's Harlem Renaissance bestseller, Home to Harlem (1928)—form a significant modernist intertextual interchange. The present inquiry is crucial because the intertext in question is not merely a matter of a master narrative influencing a minor text. This essay recovers the bilateral exchange between McKay's queer black engagement with modernist angst and Hemingway's employment of New Negro identity and primitivism. The present study considers, moreover, the subject of the modernist canon, with a discussion of how Ralph Ellison's esteem for Hemingway's prose during the 1950s and '60s assists in understanding McKay's 1920s deployment of the white author's writing. The broader goal of this analysis is to encourage a revisioning of the interplay between black transnational and modernist transatlantic literature.


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pp. 61-81
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